Did you know that there are 60 million propane-fueled devices in the United States? Most of those are your run-of-the-mill tanks for grills, camping lanterns, or plumbing jobs. Those tanks for everyday use can become a serious household hazard, however, if they are not handled and cared for correctly.
Disposing of propane tanks is a pretty simple process that you can perform to keep you and your family safe after the tanks run low. Read on to find out how to dispose of propane tanks.
How to Dispose of Propane Tanks
There are a few different ways to go about propane tank disposal, some easier than others. Below, we’ll show you the best propane disposal tips.
Take the Tank to a Hazardous Waste Disposal Center
Most counties or cities in the United States have at least one hazardous waste disposal facility in their area, and many will take your empty tanks. It’s a good idea to call ahead before showing up with your empty tank to make sure that they will accept the size of propane tank that you’d like to dispose of. If it’s too large for your local facility to accept, try calling other local resources.
Take the Propane Tank to a Refill Station
Do a little research and find the nearest refill station. You’ll usually be able to find stations at local gas companies or other businesses that provide propane delivery here in the United States.
This method will cost you around $4 a gallon depending on the going market rate, so it’s an affordable option, especially if you’re a weekend warrior that loves to barbecue or take the family camping – or both!
Call the Company Where You Bought the Tank
Another easy option is to call the company where you bought the propane tank to see if they’ll take the empty tank for recycling or (even better) refill it.
If all else fails, you can call your local metal scrap yard to see if they will accept your empty tank for recycling – most will take the tank off your hands for free.
Empty Propane Tank Safety
In the time between when you discover that you’re out of propane and when you’re able to dispose of or refill the tank, you should be mindful of empty propane tank safety. It’s important to remember that an “empty” propane tank is never entirely “empty” unless it’s been tended to by a licensed professional.
Store It at a Safe Temperature
Never store your propane tank – empty or not – in an area that could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The excess gas will expand when the ambient temperature increases around the tank. If it expands too much, you run the risk of a gas leak.
Keep It Outside
Never keep your tank inside your residence because propane is hazardous, and accidents can happen. Additionally, should something happen and the tank begins to leak, your family is at risk.
Don’t Throw It Away
If you throw your propane tank in a dumpster, there is a risk that the trash collection company could miss seeing it, and it will end up in the back of the trash truck. Once in the trash truck, it will get compacted.
If the tank is compacted, the leftover gas in the tank will cause the compacted tank to explode. If the tank explodes, serious injury or property damage can happen. In short – don’t throw it away.
Be Safe – Refill, Recycle, or Dispose
If you follow the steps above on how to dispose of propane tanks, you will be well on your way to getting that next barbecue on the schedule. You’ll also be keeping yourself, your family, and the trash company employees safe. If you like this article, take a look at some of our other home improvement articles!