How to Properly Dispose of Old Propane Tanks

Propane tanks don’t last forever. When they finally reach the end of their useful life, you’ll need to dispose of them properly. Can you throw away propane tanks? Unfortunately, you can’t just take your old tanks to the curb with the rest of your trash — they often contain residual amounts of propane that can pose a safety hazard.

However, there are some propane tank recycling options and other methods for getting rid of old tanks. These can vary depending on the tank’s size and type.

Propane Tank Disposal for Smaller Containers

Those smaller propane cylinders you might use to power your barbecue grill or camp stove tend to wear out much faster than the larger above-ground or underground tanks that hold gas for heating and household appliances. That’s because they’re portable and often moved frequently. Consequently, you may need to develop a propane tank disposal plan you can implement repeatedly.

Propane tank recycling is usually the best option for cylinders — but first, it’s imperative to prepare the tank. The process involves transferring the residual gas to another container, depressurizing the old unit and removing its valves and fittings. Remember that handling propane can be dangerous and that mistakes or carelessness can result in fire, injury or even death. It’s imperative to call the company that supplied the tanks to you to handle the task.

Where Do You Dispose of Propane Tanks?

Depending on where you live, you may have a variety of choices for recycling your properly prepared propane tanks. If your propane supplier can’t take your old cylinders, there might be a scrap metal dealer in your area that will accept them. You can also check your town or municipality’s website for guidance. You may be able to bring them to your local public works department, recycling center or transfer station.

What About Stationary Propane Tank Disposal?

Larger above-ground or underground tanks used to store propane for household consumption pose a different disposal challenge due to their size. In the case of above-ground units, contact a licensed propane supplier in your area for assistance. These companies have the tools, equipment and resources to safely remove any remaining propane from the tank and haul it away. Selling it for scrap usually isn’t a viable option, as most metal scrapyards won’t take large propane tanks due to the potential hazards.

If you have an underground tank, you can have a propane supplier attempt to remove it, but this can be a labor-intensive and expensive process. For many homeowners, having the company depressurize the tank, recover any residual propane and fill it with sand or water provides a more practical and cost-effective alternative.

Contact Foster Fuels for Propane Tank Disposal in Southern Virginia

If you’re in southern Virginia and aren’t sure how to dispose of your old propane tanks, Foster Fuels can help. As the region’s leading propane supplier with more than 95 years of experience, you can trust us to recommend the best solution for your situation. Give us a call at 800-344-6457 or contact us online to learn more.

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