How to Dispose of Gas Cylinders

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe and environmentally friendly condition to their holdings.

But what about the property owner who discovers hazardous materials on his property or the homeowner that uses a product from a gas cylinder and needs to dispose of the remaining product or even the empty cylinder itself? New restrictions on the disposal of gas cylinders create a difficult disposal question for the homeowner. There are services to aid in the disposal of these cylinders. They do not, however, come cheap.

  1. Examine the cylinder. Try to find a business name, address or phone number on the tank. This could be a sticker or painted on the side of the tank (typically toward the top of the tank). Also note the color of the tank and what type of nozzle it has. This helps to identify what type of contents the tank may have contained. If you find a company name or phone number, contact the company and inquire about whether it picks up empty or old cylinders or whether you can return it.

  2. If the cylinder cannot be identified, contact a hazardous waste disposal company. The fee for disposal of an unidentified gas cylinder can run from $100 to $1,000.

  3. For nonrefillable, compressed gas cylinder disposal, dispose of the contents in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. Attach a gas regulator to the cylinder valve and allow any residual gas to vent slowly into a well-ventilated area. Remove the regulator. Open the cylinder valve slowly and leave it open. Render the unit unusable by putting a hole in the cylinder. Dispose of the empty cylinder with your solid waste.

  4. Tip

    If you cannot identify the cylinder or its contents, contact your local fire department or police and ask for help.


    If you are disposing of nonreusable cylinders in your refuse, do not incinerate.