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April 18, 2005 8:06 PM   Subscribe

How does one properly dispose of a small, single-use propane cylinder in New York City?

This is the type I'm referring to. The department of sanitation says "contact your local propane dealer", who will happily sell me another one, but looks at me quizzically when I come back with an empty. Are dealers required to take these back by law?
posted by Oddly to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
What does the cylinder say? I'm not in NY, but I've always just thrown them in the trash, after making sure they are completely empty.
posted by bh at 8:24 PM on April 18, 2005

I would suggest calling 311 about this - this is exactly what 311 was created for. It may or may not be necessary to be tagged like old refrigerators. The 311 operators are pretty nice, too.
posted by plemeljr at 8:29 PM on April 18, 2005

I think you'd be safe to ensure it is completely empty, then throw it in your recycling bin. It's made from heavy steel, so it's quite valuable as a recyclable.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 PM on April 18, 2005

there's no info on the cylinder re disposal. plus, it's not entirely empty and the hookup is corroding (so bleeding it off might be hazardous). as for 311, i asked them about this a year ago. they're usually pretty good, but on this they basically shrugged.
posted by Oddly at 8:38 PM on April 18, 2005

I would say that if it doesn't have disposal instructions on it, then you can just toss it in ordinary trash.
posted by mischief at 8:55 PM on April 18, 2005

Do NOT throw this in the ordinary trash, as mischief suggests!

A garbage truck might collect it and attempt to crush the garbage, which would most likely cause an explosion, and a HUGE lawsuit for you.

I would say if you can't get 311 to respond to you, take it to Home Depot and explain to them what it is. The Manhattan branches don't sell propane tanks, but they may have facilities for disposing of tanks. If that won't work, take it to the Home Depot in Secaucus or Elizabeth; both places will just accept the empty container.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:01 PM on April 18, 2005

Absolutely do not put this in either trash or recycling!
You probably don't want to be responsable for hurting someone, even if the chance is remote.

Call your city recycling people. There is almost certainly a drop-off depot somewhere. Every city I've ever lived in has had one. There many be a drop-off fee though.
posted by bonehead at 9:15 PM on April 18, 2005

How bad is the corrosion? Coleman recommends emptying the tank and then disposing of it. Do you have a grill or lamp you could hook it up to (without lighting it) for a while?
posted by bh at 4:13 AM on April 19, 2005

Ask at your local firehouse?
posted by scratch at 6:42 AM on April 19, 2005

Lordy, people, these things are not a big deal. If they were, you'd hear a lot more about garbagemen being blown to smithereens: these canisters are super-common and are being disposed of by people who are more stupid than anyone on AskMe.

From the Coleman link, above:
The only requirements are to ensure the cylinder is completely empty and that either the main valve or the pressure relief valve is removed. These valves are similar to valves you find in the stems on your car tires and can be unscrewed from the fittings. To remove the valve, you will need a long tire stem tool which can usually be purchased at an auto parts or hardware store.
Making sure, of course, that the thing is actually empty by connecting it to the appliance and turning it on, then letting it sit open for several minutes after the flame goes out.

and as for actually removing the valve core, I don't think that's necessary if you've completely emptied the tank. It's an extra precaution, but no pressure is no gas is no real danger. Less danger than a can of hairspray, fersure, and those end up in the trash all the time. IMO YMMV IANAGC.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:13 AM on April 19, 2005

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