Gas canisters such as these are at risk of exploding if not disposed of correctly. Contributed photo

Recycle B.C. offers tips for disposing of gas cannisters

Potentially dangerous items need to be recycled properly, says organization

This coming Labour Day weekend, British Columbians enjoying outdoor activities such as camping, picnics and barbecues may have empty or partially-used gas cylinders left over.

Unfortunately, improper disposal of hazardous cylinders by putting them in the recycling bin creates a serious fire risk. The most common types of high-risk items this time of year are disposable propane cylinders, butane cans and lighter fluid containers. Other examples include reusable propane canisters, helium balloon cylinders and oxygen cylinders used for home health. Because compressed gases are under high pressure, the cylinder may explode or burst when heated or dropped. Small sparks can cause flammable and combustible material to catch fire.

This video of a propane tank explosion at a recycling facility shows how serious the effects of improper disposal can be.

So, how should these potentially dangerous items be properly recycled?

Recycle BC, the not-for-profit organization that is responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling throughout the province, is providing tips to make disposal of gas cylinders easy and safe.

1. Don’t put gas cylinders or other hazardous items in the recycling bin. Compressed gas cylinders are dangerous when included with curbside, multi-family building or depot recycling. These cylinders pose a risk to worker safety, as they may explode during transportation or processing.

2. Take gas cylinders to the 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

3. Download the app. Recycle BC’s free recycling app for both Apple and Android devices tells you where materials belong for proper recycling or where to get more information even for items that aren’t part of the Recycle BC program, such as hazardous cylinders.

Cell phone and computer batteries also present an explosion and fire risk to recycling crews. Just like compressed gas cylinders, these materials should be taken to the nearest depot, participating retailer, or another safe disposal site for recycling.

READ MORE: Canada should aim to recycle 85% of plastics by 2025, groups say

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Food security: food costing in Northern B.C.

Northern B.C. residents have additional factors at play when it comes to food security

SD28 continues to put pressure on MOTI regarding West Fraser Road

Around 24 students are riding the school bus for up to three hours each day due to road washout

Column: how to bring young blood to ranching

A Young Agarians program seeks to partner new ranchers with old

100 years of the War Amps organization

Second World War veteran reflects on 100 years of “amputees helping amputees”

Letter: modern-day consequences of war

“Lines scrawled on a map of the Middle East 100 years ago have proven the basis of constant strife”

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read