Reduce your carbon footprint this camping season with refillable propane tanks

May 25, 2021

Single-use propane tanks are a popular way for campers to power up their grills and other equipment -- but after they’ve been used, the tanks are considered hazardous waste. For your next camping trip or outdoor gathering, consider using a refillable tank to reduce your environmental impact.

Every year, Californian’s purchase four million single-use, one-pound disposable propane tanks, and retailers sell more than forty million nationwide. While the metal in these tanks is recyclable, the tanks cannot be accepted as trash or recycling due to the residual propane within them, which can explode. Propane camping tanks must be disposed at a household hazardous waste (HHW) facility, such as the Hayward HHW at 2091 West Winton Ave. Drop-offs at the Hayward HHW are by appointment only, which can be scheduled on the StopWaste website, or by calling 1-800-606-6606. 

Unlike their single-use counterparts, refillable camping propane tanks can be refilled with propane, can last for about ten years, and are more cost effective than buying disposable tanks before every trip.   

Single-use propane tanks aren’t the only harmful item frequently used during outdoor gatherings. Many campers also opt for the convenience of plastic cutlery, paper plates, and bottled water. Use of disposable food ware requires significant resources considering the items can only be used once, and most single-use food ware cannot be recycled. Packing a mess kit that includes reusable dishes, cutlery, and water bottles will reduce your waste generation and take the sustainability of your camping trip or picnic to the next level.