Photo: How to recycle BBQ propane tanks

Choose refillable propane tanks. (Credit: break.things via Flickr)

We're well into barbecue season, something you'll know if you've made the annual mistake of running out of propane. Propane tanks are refillable but sometimes you might need to get rid of an old one. If so, remember that they are recyclable!

In Toronto, propane tanks are considered household hazardous waste. Find a drop-off depot near you.

In any other city, expired refillable propane tanks can be taken to most landfills, transfer stations, and many propane dealers. The tanks must be empty. Unfortunately, non-refillable, single-use tanks like those camping propane containers are no longer accepted at most landfills and transfer stations. It turns out that it's too difficult and expensive to recycle them—something to consider if you're upgrading to a new model of camping stove.

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Some metal recyclers take disposable propane tanks, but they should be empty with the valves removed. If you haven't already, make the switch to refillable propane tanks. And never place a pressurized container into your garbage!

When getting your barbecue ready for the season, why not clean the grill with some simple eco-friendly ingredients? Once a year, remove the grill from the barbecue, sprinkle baking soda or washing soda all over the grates, and then immerse it in a tub of warm water. Note: washing soda is more caustic then baking soda, so you might want to use gloves. Soak the grill overnight, if possible. Scrub it with a sponge and give it a final wash with liquid castile soap or eco-friendly dish soap. Rinse and dry.

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