How to Dispose of Butane Canisters
How To

How to Dispose of Butane Canisters

Butane is an essential product as it gives fire to almost all remote places and mostly the areas where open fires and flames aren’t allowed. It is most common for the regular backpackers and campers as they use this equipment when they want to cook food outdoors while using their outdoor cooking system and cookware. Do you have any idea on how to dispose of butane canisters?

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Butane is stored under pressure, and this is one reason why it’s important to handle it carefully and take caution when disposing of. The disposal of butane canisters is hazardous to people and the environment especially if you don’t know how to dispose of and minimize the danger that butane can cause safely.

If you do a little research on the internet or at your local area, you note that most distributors don’t take the canisters back claiming they don’t have a license to do so. The only people willing to come take the cartridges will charge you a collection fee and individual fees for every canister that you have. To some extent, this isn’t reasonable, and the best way is to dispose them safely such that they can be recycled. The critical thing here is to make sure the canisters are disposed safely in a way that they can’t cause harm or injury to people and the environment as well. That’s the reason behind writing this article on how to dispose of butane canisters.

How to Dispose of Butane Canisters tips for everyone

Materials required:

When looking at how to dispose of butane canisters, you will need just a few tools. However, you still need to be as careful as possible when choosing the tools. The tools determine the thin line between danger and safety when disposing of the canisters. You will need puncturing tools that are safe to use.

Jetboil Crunchit

This is an optional puncturing tool, but it’s the best and most recommended. It is a lightweight, rugged stainless steel tool that is very useful to vent fuel before puncturing safely. The tool is compliant with all the recycling standards and its compatible with Jetboil cooking systems as well as other canisters from other manufacturers who use a standard stove-canister attachment system. The tool doubles for a bottle opener as well. It’s a one of a kind tool that safely vents the remaining fuel inside the butane canister before you go ahead to puncture it for recycling.

How to Dispose of Butane Canisters

How to Dispose of Butane Canisters tipsStep by step procedure on how to safely dispose of butane canisters

Disposing the butane canisters might sound easy when reading, but you have to be cautious when doing it. Most people are hesitant to do it for fear of the canisters exploding like a grenade. Apart from the sound, there is nothing else to worry about since the cartridge has no fuel, so there is no risk of injury if you use the Jetboil Crunchit tool.

If you are doing this for the first time, you might have this fear, but as you get used to it, you will eventually get the hang of it through these simple tips and tricks:

  • Vent the remaining gas in the butane canister

This should be the very first thing you do to minimize the risk of injury. The best way to do this is to secure the butane canister to your appliance. Light it and let it burn down until there is not enough fuel to power the flame.

It’s good to use all the gas for cooking because it’s better to burn the hydrocarbons instead of simply releasing them in the air. After all the gas is burned down, and the flame dies, it’s now safe to punch the canister. This, however, doesn’t mean that the cartridge is currently empty. The fuel was compressed in the container, and there will be a little fuel that doesn’t have enough pressure to run from the gas valve.

You can use a screwdriver and punch a hole through the side of the canister. An alternative method of letting out the gas is using a reliable product such as the Jetboil Crunchit. The equipment will help you puncture the container and compress it safely.

  • Get to a nearby hazardous waste recycling site

In the US, most of the counties have Household Hazardous Waste collection sites. The sites accept empty and almost empty butane containers and cartridges. Some of the places provide services for the housebound and disabled citizens where they come right to the doorstep to collect the butane stuff.

It’s important to note that these sites won’t accept damaged or leaking canisters. Think twice before destroying the containers as you will be left with them to recycle. Also, most of these sites won’t accept your container of its more than 25 gallons for every visit.

how to dispose of butane canisters for everyone

  • Put the canister in a recycling container

Butane items should be separated from other trash until you have to take them out to the HHW collection site. You can also use a marker and mark the canister as used and toss it in the recycle bin.

If you haven’t punctured the butane container, its good to be safe and dispose of it safely by sealing it in a plastic bag. This will hold the leaking or escaping fuel. However, it’s recommended that you puncture the canister yourself or get rid of all the fuel in the container by using the appropriate tools.

These steps are pretty easy and straightforward even if you are doing it for the first time. These are general steps that apply whether you use the MSR, Jetboil or any other outdoor cooking systems. For the hikers, backpackers, and campers who frequently use butane for their outdoor cooking, the question on disposal of these containers has now been answered.

Be safe and store the canisters safely and out of reach of children once they are used up. Remember they still have some fuel remaining before you dispose and the fuel if not correctly handled the container can cause injury.


Having explained on how to dispose of butane canisters, there is a caution here.

Note: It’s never safe to dispose of the butane canisters by throwing them in an open flame. The cartridges can explode since they still contain some gas and the pressure can send the canisters off causing injury.


This way, we shall keep the environment clean and well maintained at all times.

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