What to do with it when you're done with it
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Recycle your Propane Tanks

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Propane Tanks


Propane Tanks


Propane cylinders are pressurized, and can cause injury if they explode. Do not include them in your regular garbage. When you buy a propane cylinder, ask if it can be returned for recycling or disposal when it's empty. Better yet, buy refillable, reusable propane cylinders. Used propane cylinders, large and small, can also be dropped off at the Household Special Waste Days.

More information about Propane Tanks

Single-use cylinders come in two basic styles: a short, fat tank used for camp fuel, and a tall skinny tank used for torch fuel. Both hold about the same amount of fuel - around 1 pound - and are designed to provide a safe, portable fuel source for camp cooking and light, and for small torch units. According to industry sources, there are about 30 million single-use cylinders sold in the U.S. each year (or about 600,000 in Minnesota). It is illegal to refill these tanks, so they are to be discarded after they are empty. The problem is these tanks are never completely "empty" and should not be thrown in the trash.

Refillable propane tanks are most commonly used to provide fuel for gas grills. They are designed to hold 20 pounds of propane fuel, and can be refilled by a propane dealer many times. Smaller size refillable tanks are also available.

Other Choices to Consider

There are alternatives to the single-use propane cylinder for camping and hobby use. White gas is a very inexpensive, readily available fuel. For those who want to use propane fuel, some of the larger camping stores/outfitters sell small propane cylinders that can be refilled. Also, there is a new gas fuel available for camping use: a mixture of propane and butane, sold in an all-aluminum canister. When the canister is empty (it won't support a flame) it can be easily recycled. This fuel mix burns hotter than propane, which means faster cooking and brighter lanterns. It costs about the same, and is becoming readily available.

Disposal Options