Dispose gas canisters easily and safely

Improperly disposing of these materials by putting them in the recycling bin creates a serious fire risk

With summer coming to a close, many British Columbians have empty or partially-used gas canisters left over from camping trips and barbecues.

The most common types are reusable propane tanks and disposable propane canisters. Other examples include butane cartridges, helium balloon tanks and oxygen tanks used for home health.

Unfortunately, improperly disposing of these materials by putting them in the recycling bin creates a serious fire risk.

Compressed gases are unstable, and slight changes in temperature or pressure can cause them to explode.

That’s why Multi-Material BC (MMBC), a non-profit organization that manages residential recycling in municipalities throughout the province, is providing information and tips to make disposal of gas canisters easy and safe.


MMBC tips


  • Don’t put gas canisters in the recycling bin. Compressed gas cylinders are dangerous when included with curbside, multi-family building or depot recycling. These canisters pose a risk to worker safety, as they may explode and catch fire during transportation or processing. Also, compressed gases can be toxic or corrosive, so special handling is required.


  • Take gas canisters to the appropriate depot. The Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Recyclepedia allows you to search for a nearby depot by selecting which item you need to recycle, and where you live. You can also call their recycling hotline at 1-800-667-4321, or email hotline@rcbc.ca


  • Download the app. MMBC’s free recycling app allows you to find out which recyclable material goes where, check your collection day, and receive pick-up notifications. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices.

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