How To Dispose of Small Green Propane Tanks (1 Lb. Cylinders)


There are two ways to dispose of small green camping propane tanks. If the tank is already empty, you can simply dispose of it with garbage and other waste. If there is still propane in the tank, it needs to be taken to a hazardous waste collection site.

Some Camping sites offer recycling options where you can leave the empty tank to be recycled.

Camping-sized propane tanks are great for bringing added comfort to the woods with you. They can be used to power heaters, stoves, lights, and more. To respect nature when camping, it is important to “leave no trace.”

That means disposing of everything properly, so you are not filling nature with garbage. Proper disposal of those camping-sized propane tanks is crucial for keeping the area clean and safe.

Where Can You Dispose of Small Green Propane Tanks?

Empty small green propane tanks can be thrown away in any garbage can or dumpster. You do not need any special considerations for the disposal.

If the propane tank still has propane, take it to a hazardous waste collection site. Remember that transfer stations will not take the propane tanks. They will not take propane tanks of any kind.

Read also: How To Dispose of Coleman Propane Tanks, Fuel Canisters?

How to Find a Hazardous Waste Collection Site Near Me

Most hazardous waste collection sites are run by the county. Visit the website for the county you are camping in (or disposing of your propane tank).

Every county website is different, but most offer a map or a list of hazardous waste disposal locations in your area.

Remember that in many places, transfer stations will not take propane tanks. If you are unsure if the disposal location you have selected will take your tank, call ahead.

Can You Re-Fill a Small Green Propane Tank?

You can re-fill a small green propane tank. This is simple to do if you have a larger propane tank, and it will cost less than purchasing a new camping-sized tank.

You will simply need an adaptor to connect the small tank to a 20 lb. tank.

These adaptors are easy to find at camping supply stores such as Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

You can also find them at many hardware stores like Harbor Freight, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot. They generally cost between 15 and 20 dollars.

Read also: RV Propane Refill Near Me – Stations & Locations [UPDATED]

How to Re-Fill a Small Green Propane Tank from a 20 lb. Tank

Step #1: Before refilling your tank, you will want to leave the small propane tank in the freezer for several hours. It is important when using the adaptors to chill the small tank before refilling it.

Step #2: Set up in a well-ventilated area. You can re-fill the tank outside or open all of the doors in your garage while re-filling.

Step #3: Be sure the 20 lb. propane tank is closed. Close the valve before attaching the adaptor or the small propane tank.

Step #4: Attach the adaptor to the top of the 20 lb. propane tank. It should simply screw onto the portion of the tank where you would normally attach the connection for your grill.

Step #5: Screw the small propane tank into the adaptor. Place the head of your small green propane tank into the adaptor and screw until it is secured in place. It should attach easily to the threads. Screw it in until it is hand-tight.

Step #6: Flip the 20 lb. propane tank upside down.

Step #7: Turn the 20 lb. propane tank on all the way.

Step #8: Wait until the propane tank stops making a sound. This should take between one minute and five minutes.

Step #9: Turn off the 20 lb. propane tank. Flip the tank over so it is right-side up again.

Step #10: Unscrew the small green propane tank from the nozzle. There may be a small burst of propane as you release it. Do not be alarmed. This is why you need to be in a well-ventilated area while re-filling your tank.

Step #11: De-tach the adaptor and store it where you will be able to find it the next time you have a propane tank to re-fill.

Is It Worth it to Re-Fill a Small Green Propane Tank?

There are plenty of benefits financially and environmentally to re-filling a small green propane tank rather than simply throwing it away when it gets empty.

The small green propane tanks used for camping usually hold around 4 pounds of propane. They also cost about 7 dollars. Larger propane tanks that are perfect for re-filling hold around 20 pounds of propane. It costs about 15 to 20 dollars to fill one of these larger propane tanks (assuming that you already have one).

This means that you could purchase a green propane tank and re-fill it five times (20 pounds in the large tank/4 pounds per small tank re-fill) for about 27 dollars.

This is assuming that you had the higher end of the scale for filling the larger tank.

“On the other hand, if you simply purchased six small green propane tanks (equal to the one purchased and five re-fills), it would cost about 42 dollars.”

 That difference between the two makes the adaptor for re-fills pay for itself with the first 20 lb. tank. Then, you have all of the re-fills after that, saving you money.

If you camp a lot, your wallet will thank you for re-filling your small green propane tanks rather than throwing them away. Saving that money can give you the chance to take more trips!

Read also: Does Ace Hardware Refill Propane Tanks (Propane tank 20 lb)

Environmental Benefit of Re-Filling Propane Tanks

In addition to its being a great financial help to re-fill propane tanks, it is also great for the environment. Every small green propane tank that you re-fill rather than throwing away keeps some out of the landfill.

Over time, this can have quite an impact and is another reason re-filling is absolutely worth it.

What Can You Fuel with Small Green Propane Tanks?

The most popular use for those small green propane tanks is using them to fuel camp stoves. One small propane tank is generally enough to cook several days’ worth of meals while away from the kitchen.

A similar application is using propane tanks for small grills. Whether you are camping, tailgating, or just cooking outside, you can fuel many compact grills with small propane tanks.

Some portable showers are heated with these small propane tanks. If you are looking at elevating your camping experience and adding comfort, you will love having hot water for cleaning your dishes and yourself.

Some camp heaters run on small amounts of propane. If you are camping in the fall or winter, take the safety precautions necessary, but grab one of those heaters to keep you warm.

There are plenty of uses for small propane tanks while camping, so knowing when and how to use them can make your camping experience even more fun.

How Long Will Small Green Propane Tanks Last?

Knowing how long your propane tanks will last can help you plan. You do not want to be in the middle of cooking dinner when you run out of fuel!

Small green propane tanks can usually burn between 1.5 to 2 hours before needing to refuel. If you are cooking simple camp meals, this can last for several days.

If you are powering a grill, though, you may want to bring several extras.

If you are looking for a longer burn time, 20 lb. propane tanks can burn for about 18 to 20 hours.

Read also: Storing Propane Tanks In Garage: Propane Safety Tips

Will Your Small Green Propane Tanks Expire?

Small green propane tanks can expire. Most manufacturers recommend that any propane tanks holding less than 100 pounds are not used after 12 years. After your 12 years are over, many will offer exchanges on propane tanks.

You can optionally have it inspected to increase the expiration date by up to five years. After your tank has expired, you will need to dispose of it if you cannot exchange it.

If there is still fuel in it, take it to a hazardous waste collection site. If it is empty, it can be disposed of with garbage.

Can You Exchange Small Green Propane Tanks?

Yes, at many propane providers, you can exchange your empty propane tank for a full one. This is a popular option for companies because they can re-fill the propane tanks safely and efficiently for their customers.

For customers, this is an easy way to dispose of the tanks and obtain more fuel.

How To Dispose of 1lb Propane Cylinders

I touch on properly disposing of 1lb. propane cylinders. Unfortunately, over 250,000 of these cylinders are found abandoned each year on America’s roadways and national parks.

To dispose of 1 lb. propane cylinders, you need to contact the supplier and he will help you recycle your tanks free of charge. Another possibility is that you can go to a local household hazardous waste collection in your area. 

Properly disposing of 1lb. propane cylinders >> Check out the video below:


Empty small green propane tanks can be thrown away. Tanks that still have propane in them should be taken to a hazardous waste facility.

If you want to save money and bottles, you can easily re-fill your small propane tank from a larger one with the help of an adaptor. Another option for disposal is exchanging your empty propane tank for a full one.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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