Here’s how to dispose of old or unwanted propane tanks

With Memorial Day weekend comes the unofficial start of summer, and many recreational uses for propane tanks.

Propane tanks can be re-filled or recycled, but if one of more of your tanks are too old or damaged to use, it’s important to know you can’t simply throw them away (even empty tanks).

Doing so can be unsafe and may result in hefty fines.

If you have an unwanted or damaged propane tank:

  1. Contact your local propane supplier. This is your best bet. A propane supplier is able to safely remove any remaining gas from the tank and is often able to accept the tank for recycling. Even if the supplier is unable to accept the tank, they may be able to point you in the direction of the best local option for disposal.
  2. Contact your local hazardous waste site. In southern Minnesota, this online tool can help you local hazardous waste sites. In northern Iowa, the Landfill of North Iowa Regional Collection Center is designated as a collection site for Household Hazardous Materials. Other local options may also be available.
  3. Contact your local public works department. If there are no other local options for disposal or recycling of your tank, contact your municipal public works department for guidance.
  4. Contact a scrap metal yard. A scrap metal yard might agree to accept completely empty tanks, but be sure to call ahead first to confirm this.

Certain propane suppliers offer convenient options. Ferrell Gas allows Blue Rhino customers a simple swap:

If the tank is too damaged or not in acceptable condition, simply write “recycle” on it and place it next to a Blue Rhino retailer’s propane tank cage.

In the meantime, unwanted propane tanks should not be stored in a location that will not reach 120 degrees (f), and tanks should never be stored inside of a home, in case a leak occurs.

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