Sure, you know about many things that we can recycle. Recycling bins for plastics regularly dot the streets of cities and small towns, and folded cardboard is put out on curbs weekly.
Luckily, recycling extends to propane tanks as well. Not only can its vessel be reused, refurbished, recertified, and recycled, keeping tanks out of landfills, but propane is an environmentally sound fuel source.
Propane is a clean-burning, low-carbon fuel, and since it’s non-toxic, it doesn’t contaminate soil or groundwater. It produces 43% fewer greenhouse gases than an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the grid.
That may be a surprising statistic, but it begins to make sense when you consider the entire life and transportation cycle of electricity. Over 60% of electricity in the United States is generated by coal, which means it has to be transported by vehicle to a power plant before it’s transmitted to homes.
Compared to propane, which goes from being processed to stored to delivered, the difference in overall carbon output is significant — and using propane means your carbon footprint shrinks in proportion.
And the fact that another part of propane’s use is handled with a mind toward conservation and eco-friendliness only boosts propane’s eco-friendly status. The 5 “Re-“s make it happen!
If you continue using your propane tank for grilling or some other use, you can get it refilled at a designated propane refilling location. Reusing propane tanks is better for the environment and better for your wallet than buying a whole new tank!
Recycling is the way to go if you no longer need your tank! You’ll need to drop it off with a specialized recycler since many municipalities and regular recycling centers won’t accept propane tanks. This is due to the possibility of there still being trace amounts of propane in the tank, which means it has to be handled with extra safety and care.
This turns out to be a positive thing because it means propane tanks have a greater chance at a second shot at life rather than possibly still winding up in a landfill. The unfortunate truth is that only about 35% of submitted recycled materials are actually recycled, so reusing is the safest bet to prevent waste.
Please reach out to your local public works department or your local propane provider to find the best place for recycling/reusing your propane tank. At Paraco, we’ve had a propane tank refurbishing center in our Waterbury, CT location since 2018.
Refurbishing means re-doing something until it’s as good as new — and it’s a process that gives propane tanks tons of repeated uses rather than being disposed of.
At our facility, we take propane tanks that have seen better days and make them as good as new, so they can go back into circulation. We refurbish and recycle over 1.3 million tanks annually by thoroughly removing any rust from empty propane tanks, replacing valves, giving them a fresh coating of paint, and re-labeling them.
Take a look inside the process at our facility in this video:
Recertifying BBQ cylinder, more usually referred to as tanks, is also an option that prolongs their lifespan and indicates that the tank can continue to be safely used. Not unlike items in your fridge, propane tanks have a date stamped onto them that shows when they were manufactured.
Every 5 – 12 years (depending on that date of manufacture), propane tanks need to be recertified by a professional to confirm their safe and continued use. Upon recertification, they’ll be given a new stamped date, and the process repeats from there!
Larger tanks also go through a similar recertification process that allows you to use the same tank for a long time, barring any issues, which isn’t typical.
If you have any questions and the refilling, reuse, refurbishment, or refilling of propane tanks, please let us know. We’re experts in green fuel and the green practices that help care for our planet.