Guide to Responsible Disposal of Old Gas

The proper disposal of a gas cylinder is critical, especially with the importance of environmental awareness and advocacy. Proper waste disposal is not just a matter of regulatory compliance; it’s a moral obligation to protect our planet for future generations. When it comes to old gas, whether it’s in cylinders or other containers, responsible disposal is crucial to prevent harm to the environment and ourselves.

Facts to Know Before Disposing of Gas Cylinders

gas cylinders

Before disposing of any cylinder, become familiar with any applicable state legislation. When deciding how to dispose of a cylinder, these questions should be asked:

  1. Can gas become stale?
  2. How long can you store gasoline?
  3. Is there any pressure remaining in the cylinder?
  4. Did/does the cylinder contain hazardous material?
  5. If it is empty, could the cylinder still contain toxic residue?
  6. Can old gas be recycled?

When talking about gas, disposal could be related to compressed gas or gasoline/fuel. This type of waste should NOT be placed in regular trash bins or recycling dumpsters. The general breakdown of this waste can be simplified in these steps:

  1. Check to see if cylinders are classified as hazardous trash in your state.
  2. Locate a suitable recycling site in your region.
  3. Confirm that each cylinder is ready for disposal.
  4. Contact a waste facility to arrange for cylinder delivery or pickup

Disposal of Old Gas Cylinders

Old gas cylinders can be found in various settings, from industrial facilities to residential garages. These cylinders often contain various gasses, including oxygen, acetylene, propane, and more. Proper disposal of old gas cylinders is essential to avoid accidents, protect the environment, and comply with regulations.

To answer some of the questions laid out above, here is how to handle disposal of old gas: 

Identify the Cylinder Contents 

The first step is determining the type of gas the cylinder contains. This information is typically found on the cylinder label. It’s crucial to know the gas because different gasses require different disposal methods.

The questions you can answer include, can gas become stale? Did the container have hazardous material? and how long can you store gasoline? 

If the gas has been in an airtight container, chances are the gas has a longer shelf life at this time. If the old gas wasn’t stored in an airtight container or you can’t guarantee that it has been airtight its entire shelf life, then the gas is probably stale. 

When gasoline is exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates over time. This type of oxidation converts the hydrocarbons in gasoline into alcohol. These are further oxidized to form aldehydes and ketones, which are then converted into acids. 

Pure gasoline can last up to six months before it begins to degrade. But in general, gasoline can probably be stored for three months without starting the deterioration process. Once it is past the 3-6 month range, gas can quickly be labeled as stale. This stale gas is not good for any engine or power source. It is best to seek disposal of this gas asap. 

Contact a Professional 

Handling old gas cylinders is not a DIY task. Reach out to a hazardous waste removal company like AllSource Environmental, experienced in handling hazardous materials. They have the expertise, equipment, and certifications to safely manage and dispose of these cylinders.

Many professional waste management companies will work with you to provide customized solutions while maintaining all documentation and regulations of non-hazardous and hazardous materials. If you want more information about “old gas disposal near me”, contact AllSource today for a free consultation

Cylinder Depressurization 

The question we can answer here is, is there any pressure remaining in the cylinder?

Before disposal, it’s essential to safely depressurize the cylinder. Professionals will use the appropriate techniques to release any remaining gas and ensure it’s empty.

Cylinder Preparation 

If it is empty, could the cylinder still contain toxic residue?

The cylinder should be cleaned appropriately and purged to remove residual gas or contaminants. This step is crucial to prevent accidents during transportation and disposal. A professional waste management company can cover all of these steps for you. 


Once depressurized and prepared, the cylinder can be transported by professionals to an authorized disposal facility. As stated before, we don’t advise anyone attempt to handle or transport old gas cylinders yourself, as this can be extremely dangerous.

Even if you are only disposing a small amount of stale gas, you must follow strict safety procedures. Gas cylinders are specifically designed to hold gas to safely be transported. Make sure you have the approved gas cans and never transport or store gasoline in hot or enclosed areas. 

Recycling & Disposal 

Can old gas be recycled?

At the disposal facility, old gas cylinders are often recycled or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, depending on their contents. Recycling helps minimize waste and reduces the environmental impact. Gas cylinders, whether aluminum or plastic are deemed hazardous once in contact with hazardous materials, unless stated otherwise. 

The gas, on the other hand, we don’t recommend anyone try to recondition the stale gas themselves. Gasoline, even if stale, is highly flammable and extremely toxic. You can ask your waste management partners about alternatives to the gas but in general, we don’t advise keeping any leftover material. 

Disposal of Unidentified Cylinders & Damaged Containers

Unidentified and damaged cylinders must be disposed of. If not handled properly, compressed gas cylinders with unknown contents can pose a significant risk to employees, the environment, and home situations. Cylinders containing unknown contents should be handled and disposed of as though they contained the most dangerous gas obtainable at your location. 

Even if you think these containers contain stale gasoline, you should still proceed with caution as hazardous material needs to be tested, handled, and disposed of with the utmost care.