How to Dispose of Small Propane Canisters

••• portable gas stove with coffee-pot image by Georgios Alexandris from

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Small propane canisters are often used for camp stoves and lanterns. The canisters provide enough fuel for a short period of time. While there are regulations governing the disposal of large propane tanks, smaller canisters are easier to dispose of. However, even with smaller canisters proper disposal is necessary to ensure your safety and that of the waste management company. Small propane canisters usually weigh 2 lbs or less.

Attach the canister to the device it is used with, most often a camp stove or lantern.

Turn the gas on and light the device, allowing the gas to run until the canister is completely empty.

Remove the canister and dispose of it in your normal trash container.


  • Small propane canisters are highly pressurized when full. Never attempt to puncture or open the valve manually.


  • Write empty on the side of the small canister to remind yourself and to notify anyone handling the canister, that it is empty. For more environmentally friendly disposal, your local recycling station may have a special disposal area for empty propane canisters.
  • Some camping stores will accept cannisters for recycling.


About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

  • portable gas stove with coffee-pot image by Georgios Alexandris from