How to Dispose of Propane Tanks

Posted: May 13, 2024

Tips to retiring propane cylinders in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts

propane tank Propane is an essential fuel for your summer entertainment. Whether you’re using a grill tank to fuel your cookout or a portable propane cylinder to power a firepit, patio heater or some other outdoor amenity, propane gets the job done.

But how long can you expect a portable propane tank to last, and how can you safely dispose of a propane cylinder that’s ready to retire? The pros at Main-Care Energy can provide guidance for disposing of propane tanks in Lake George, elsewhere in New York, as well as in Western Vermont and Western Massachusetts.

Regulations Concerning Portable Propane Tanks

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sets guidelines for inspection and requalification of portable propane tanks. They require that all propane cylinders (including your grill tank) be inspected and requalified by an authorized DOT facility 12 years after the manufacture date and every five years after that.

When to Dispose of a Portable Propane Tank

Propane cylinders can last a long time, but it’s essential not to use any cylinder that is expired or dented or if it has excessive rust and corrosion.

It would be best if you also were on the lookout for possible leaks on older propane cylinders. One simple way to do this with a grill tank is to mix a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap in a spray bottle. Coat your grill tank valve, grill hose and regulator with this mixture, then open the tank valve. If you see bubbling, there could be a leak. Close the valve and tighten all your connections, then reopen the valve and check again. If there are still bubbles, discontinue using the propane cylinder.

Disposing of Propane Cylinders in New York

How you dispose of a portable propane tank in New York depends on which county and/or city you live in. But there are some general guidelines you can follow.
Propane cylinders aren’t eligible for curbside pickup since they are pressurized and present an explosion risk. You typically have two options for disposing of them. Firstly, you should contact the business that provided you with the cylinder since they may be able to dispose of it for you. If not, reach out to your local public works or sanitation department to find your nearest hazardous waste drop-off location.

Disposing of Propane Cylinders in Vermont

In our service region of Vermont, you cannot dispose of propane cylinders through the normal trash services.

In Rutland County, Vermont, you can take empty propane tanks to a district transfer station. If they are filled, please get in touch with the distributor that provided the tank to you.

In Bennington County, you will need to locate the transfer station for your specific corporate or municipal entity and receive guidance.

Disposing of Propane Cylinders in Massachusetts

Similar to New York and Vermont, you should not dispose of propane cylinders through curbside trash pickup. You should contact your propane cylinder distributor to see if they can accept and dispose of it for you. Otherwise, find a municipal collection program or household hazardous waste collection event near you. Your local public works department can help.

What About Home Propane Tanks?

Stationary propane tanks that supply fuel to indoor and outdoor appliances, systems and amenities are a different issue than portable cylinders. These tanks aren’t regulated by the DOT and can last up to 30 years or more. (Underground tanks last closer to 20 years.)

Most Main-Care Energy customers lease their propane tanks from us. This is a great deal since we take care of all the installation, safety testing and upkeep. We will also replace your tank if it needs to be retired.

If you own your tank and think it might be on its last legs, reach out to us. We can inspect it, and we sell a range of top-quality propane tanks. We even offer a Propane Tank Ownership Finance Program.

Need help with an aging propane tank? Contact Main-Care Energy today.