Propane Tanks Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste The West Contra Costa County Household Hazardous Waste Facility will accept propane tanks / gas cylinders with a 5-gallon max container size only. Please note there is also a 15-gallon transportation limit for all HHW being transported in one visit to the facility, regardless of material type. Do Not Tamper With If you are waiting to dispose of a tank, store them outside and upright with their caps on tight. Write empty on the container, and do not try to remove the valve. Especially Hazardous if Not Empty A propane tank is still pressurized and can explode or start a fire if it’s not entirely empty. Propane can also be damaging to your health if touched or inhaled, so any tank that is not empty must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Use Up Completely Empty propane tanks are less likely to injure people, because the tank is not pressurized with propane gas. Don't Refill Disposables If your cylinder contains words like “nonrefillable,” “disposable” or “single trip,” do not try to refill it. Federal law prohibits the transport of refilled disposable cylinders because the metal is stressed to its capacity with its first use, and becomes thin and likely to explode when further stressed. Alternative Ways to Recycle Recycle in National Parks Yellowstone, Yosemite and Bryce Canyon National Parks all have propane cylinder recycling machines. If you are visiting one of these parks, dispose of your empty cylinder in one of their receptacles. AmeriGas Offers Free Tank Disposal You can dispose of propane tanks by returning them to AmeriGas. Find an AmeriGas office. Fees may apply. Ways to Reduce Use Refillable Cylinders Save money and reduce waste by choosing a refillable cylinder over a disposable one. They come as small as one pound and can last up to 12 years. Find a refillable cylinder with the ReFuel Your Fun campaign. Did You Know? Disposable Gas Cylinders: A Huge Waste The United States consumes approximately 40 million disposable gas cylinders each year. These cylinders, both dangerous and expensive to recycle, mostly end up in landfills, taking up close to 5 million cubic feet of space annually. If recycled, 12,000 automobiles could be made each year with the recovered steel. Save Money with Refillable Cylinders When you buy a disposable cylinder, 80 percent of the cost is packaging. Not only are refillable camping gas cylinders good for the environment, they save customers an average of $320 over their 12-year lifespan, assuming the cylinder is reused 10 times a year.