How Do You Dispose of Camping Gas Cylinders? (Guide)

How to Dispose of Gas Cylinders the Right Way



Whether you’re into wild camping, motorcycle camping or you’re just a hiker going on a day trip, the following is common knowledge…

A used gas cylinder is not like other types of waste that you may see on a camping trip and think to just casually dispose of into the bushes.

In this article, we provide a precise guide on how to dispose of camping gas cylinders the right way.

About Camping Gas Cylinders

Aside from alcohol stoves and liquid fuel stoves, canister stoves make up one of the most prevalent fuel-burning equipment for portable outdoor stoves. These gas canisters come in various sizes with different weights.

In most cases, you’ll find cylinders ranging from as little as 100g to as big as 450g. Inside the canister is often a mixture of propane and butane to serve as fuel.

The two gases offer the benefit of being able to be compressed into a liquid and stay in this state at low pressure. This implies that the cylinders don’t have to cope with high levels of pressure, hence the fuel mixture inside the cartridge is safer to handle and transport. The liquid fuel used for outdoor camping stoves is usually the same as the mixture you find in lighters.

How long do camping gas canisters last?

Camping Gas Canisters burn on average 2g of Gas every minute, meaning that a regular camping gas canister such as the ones you get from Coleman around 220g will last you around 2 hours. For most people outside wild camping, this is more than enough to cover cooking your dinner and breakfast the next morning, alongside hot drinks.

For a larger 450g Gas Cartridge, if we apply the same maths, then at 2g of gas per minute, it will last you roughly 3.5 Hours. So depending on the size of your camping rucksack you have a few choices as to which gas cartridge to bring along with you.

Are camping gas canisters safe?

Camping Gas Canisters are generally safe to use while you’re out camping. A Gas Canister would only “explode” if left on a fire and then it ignited, but a gas canister will never just spontaneously explode or ignite unless there is a significant fault with the product.

However, most camping gas cylinder manufacturers have good reputations and decades of experience creating these products. If you want our personal recommendations we would gladly recommend Coleman:

How Do You Dispose of Camping Gas Cylinders?

You should never dispose of your gas cylinder while outside camping in nature. Empty fuel canisters aren’t just regular rubbish that you can cast in the bin; they need to be properly recycled and taken care of. Plus, by doing this you keep the UK countryside clean and tidy.

In the UK, empty gas cylinders are sometimes disposed of alongside regular household waste then sorted out for recycling. But before you do this to your old gas cylinder, it must be fully emptied. If you use liquid fuel, make sure you empty it to the last drop, as there is always some surplus even when you think it is used up.

For pierceable cartridges, you can remove the stove then wait a short while until all the fuel has evaporated.

In contrast, emptying screw-in gas canisters like you would use with the Jetboil Minimo is a more complicated process. That is why Jetboil developed the Crunchit- a handy recycling tool that will empty their fuel canisters.

To get rid of every last drop from the cylinder, it is pierced with a sharp object so that the remaining gas vaporises through a small hole. Usually, canisters that are emptied in this kind of way are generally ready for the recycling bin.

Nevertheless, you should be extra cautious with cylinders that haven’t been fully emptied as they are still deemed to be hazardous waste and need to be disposed of by following the standard recycling collection procedure.

Can I Recycle My Empty Gas Cylinder?

Most gas cylinders can be recycled when you return them to your local tip. What happens here is the emptying of the bottle and removal of the valve for separate recycling.

Meanwhile, metal gas cylinders are recycled at conventional metal recycling facilities. You’ll also want to check whether your local recycling point charges a fee for the service when it comes to non-household wastes.

How Can I Be Responsible When Disposing of Gas Canisters?

First off, you always want to try and take back the used gas cylinder to the supplier for recycling. This is the most environmentally conscious way of handling the canisters.

Alternatively, you can find a reputable waste-collection agency dealing with non-household wastes to ensure the canister is appropriately sorted and disposed of in the best way possible.

These are some of the most ethical and sustainable courses of action you can take to get rid of your used gas canister. You can rest assured that you’re not harming the environment in any way and that aside from the cylinder, even the waste fuel can be recovered and recycled.

How Can I Transport My Empty Gas Cylinder Safely Inside a Car?

Generally, you can carry gas cylinders in a vehicle without any hardships. But for safety purposes, ensure that the cylinder is not exposed to any temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.

Unfortunately, this is a limit that can easily be breached when it’s hot outside, so stowing away the cylinder in the boot of the car might be a good idea. Unlike putting it behind the windscreen, it is not exposed to direct sunlight here.

If the cylinders get too hot, they will normally expand at the base but they can only become explosive when exposed to fire and ignited in the process. Having said that, gas cylinders are relatively safe and may be used without hesitation. If you’re transporting the cylinder over a long distance, it is better to unscrew it first. While it is highly unlikely that the cylinder will unscrew itself, gas leaks are possible when the valve gets loose on a bumpy stretch of the journey.


Disposing of empty gas cylinders is a delicate procedure that should be followed to the letter. Failure to do so may easily harm the environment and even put your safety and that of others at risk. So, the next time you want to get rid of your used canister after an outdoor adventure, be sure to follow the above guide on how to dispose of camping gas cylinders.


Why is campingaz so expensive?

Camping is a hobby that requires a lot of gear, and yet sometimes not all manufacturers focus on producing quality products that will stand the test of time. Campingaz is a quality brand that has products loved by campers across the world. This is the reason their products are priced the way they are, because they produce high quality, robust camping products that deserve the price tag.

How long does a campingaz 904 last?

This isn’t your regular portable camping gas cartridge as it meant more for caravans and providing gas for a family while at a campsite. However, the Campingaz 904 should last around 6 weeks if used to breakfast, lunch and dinner.