Recycling Propane Grill Tanks

gas grill

  NEW! Refillable one-pound propane tanks are now available nationwide. 

                                              Refuel Your Fun


Propane-fueled gas grills are being sold at a record pace for outdoor home cooking. Sales have out-paced charcoal, electric, and natural gas combined. Gas grill tanks are only fueled with LP-gas. Tanks are stamped with a manufactured date that indicates the start of its 12-year life span. Many tanks are now older than 12 years and no longer fit for use. Others have valves that no longer fit on newer grills. A new federal requirement based on the National fire Protection Association standard 58 (NFPA 58), effective April 1, 2002, prohibits tanks without an overfill prevention device (OPD) from being filled. However, this federal standard was not accepted by the Connecticut State Legislature. Thus, Connecticut is still under the old version of NFPA 58. This means that you may have your tank refilled even if it does not have an OPD. However, because of liability issues, most marketers and dealers are refusing to refill tanks without an OPD.

Most people are taking their tanks to their local propane dealer or supplier where their old tanks are recovered. Do not expect to receive a "deposit". If reusable, the tanks are then repainted, re-certified and installed with an OPD. If you are an individual looking for a disposal option for a spent tank, refer to marketers and dealers at the end of this fact sheet.  If you are an individual, please also observe the following safety precautions:

  • Do not throw your tank in the trash.
  • Do not attempt to remove the valve from your tank.
  • Take empty tanks to your municipal transfer station, if available.
  • Save for HHW collection, if tanks are accepted in your program.
  • Call one of the many local tank recycling companies listed below.

If you are a transfer station that collects or transports propane tanks, please read on for more detailed information about how to safely manage and transport this item.

What Is Propane?

Propane, or liquefied petroleum (LP-gas), a fossil fuel, is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy and supplies 3 to 4% of our total energy. Propane is an approved, alternate clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane can be either a liquid or a gas. At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, it is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Under moderate pressure, propane becomes a liquid that vaporizes into a clean-burning gas when released from its storage container. Just like natural gas, an identifying odor is added so it can be readily detected.


The issues surrounding the 20-pound propane tanks used for home grilling have to do with disposal recycling of the cylinders or tanks that are no longer serviceable. All previously used propane tanks have some amount of gas left in them. Because propane is a hazardous material, it must be handled or disposed of properly. Tanks containing fuel under pressure may explode if tank integrity is altered. This may cause severe injury or death. Tanks containing compressed gas may explode in waste-to-energy facilities.

Handling / Storage and other Management Options

The following measures should be taken when handling spent propane tanks.

  • Do Not Attempt To Remove Valve From Tank. Special safety equipment is required to prevent explosion. Removal of valves involves costly equipment and extensive training to meet the requirements set out in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 58 1-5 (Qualifications of Personnel) and 4-2.2.1 (Emergency Response Procedures).
  • Use up all residual gas, for non-refillable (disposable) tanks.
  • Do not leave valve open, because escaping gas is a fire hazard as well as a source of air pollution.
  • When storing tanks, store outside in an area where they are least likely to suffer from physical damage or tampering (NFPA 58 5-2.1.1). Keep separate from other collected items. Tanks should always be stored in an upright position. Never store tanks on their side or upside down.
  • Do Not Put An Obsolete Tank Into a Dumpster or Other Disposal Container.  It can pose a serious safety concern if the trash truck compacts its load, as it could crush and rupture the cylinder, releasing the rest of the propane. This could create an explosion hazard.
  • Avoid cutting the tank with a torch or cutting wheel. The tank may still contain propane and create a potential fire and explosion hazard.  
  • Scrap metal yards may take unwanted tanks, but they face the same issues and problems. They are also faced with very high explosion risk and damage costs should one of these tanks get into their system.

Transporting Tanks

  • Tanks must be secured on a flat surface or in racks, and in an upright position to minimize movement to each other or the vehicle. Tanks shall be determined to be leak free before loading into vehicle (NFPA 58 6-2.2.6).
  • The maximum number of tanks that can be transported without special licensing or placarding the transporting vehicle is 25 standard grill tanks. NFPA 58 6-2.2.8 states that vehicles transporting more than 1,000 pounds of LP-Gas, including the weight of the tanks, shall be placarded as required by Department of Transportation regulations or state law.
  • When transporting any more than 25 tanks, the transporting vehicle must be placarded with the international propane symbol (1075). All placarded vehicles must be driven by an individual who holds a commercial drivers license with a hazardous materials (Hazmat) endorsement. All the requirements of NFPA 58, as well as additional requirements set forth by the Federal Department of Transportation apply in this case.

More Information

National Propane Gas Association –
National Fire Protection Agency –

Recycling Information

Check the following list for a company that will accept tanks or check the Yellow Page listings under Gas-Propane. Some companies may charge a small fee. While DEEP does not endorse any particular company, the following is a list of Connecticut companies that recycle homeowner propane tanks.

Tank Recycling Companies

Blue Rhino, will accept tanks and recycle them at no cost to you. Simply leave your empty tank(s) beside a propane exchange display. To find a Blue Rhino location, near you, or call 1-800-258-7466

Bantam Fuel
99 Bantam Lake Road
(860) 567-9431

651 Middle Street
(860) 589-8071

Hines Hardware
231 Maple Ave.
(203) 272-4463

275 So. Main Street
(860) 537-5925

Federal Road Sunoco
7 Federal Road
(203) 748-9438

Norbert E. Mitchell Co.
7 Federal Road
(203) 744-0600

50 Mill Plain Road
(203) 792-1834

Suburban Propane
100 Water Street
(203) 573-9808

Beamer Petroleum
210 Commerce St.(860) 659-3515

Griswold Bottled Gas
91 B Slater Ave.
(860) 376-2983

358 Torrington Rd.
(860) 567-0601

Northeast Tank Disposal
68 Loomis Street
(860) 649-2755

Park Lane Sunoco
44 Park Lane Rd. (860) 354-1585

Hocon Propane Gas
33 Rockland Rd.
(203) 853-1500

Taylor Rental Center
304 Boston Post Rd.
(203) 795-5251

Town Refuse Center
Orange Center Rd.
(203) 891-2177

Plainville Oil Co.
Townline Rd.
(860) 793-1239

Hocon Gas Inc.
33 Rockland Rd.
(203) 853-1500

Suburban Propane
195 Commerce Way(860) 528-1030

Rural Gas Company
7176 Main St.
(203) 364-5816

Suburban Propane
262 Gallivan Lane
(860) 848-5510

Hocon Gas Inc.
20 Railroad Hill St.
(203) 754-7601

Schmidt & Serafine’s
464 Chase Ave.
(203) 754-5981

52 Lower Bartlett Rd.
(860) 848-9277

Suburban Propane
90 Macktown Rd.
(860) 848-5510

Content Last Updated February 2020