Answering Qs About Recycling BBQs


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Don’t Be Grill-ty Of Not Recycling!

That time has come: It has served you well throughout cookouts and wienie roasts, but now you need to replace your BBQ grill. Good news: Charcoal and gas grills can be recycled.

What first may appear as a recycling conundrum- a bulky, potentially dirt or rust-ridden item- is not so challenging after all. All you need to do is locate your nearest scrap metal recycler. The grill body is likely made of steel, stainless steel and aluminum, all of which are valuable. Scrap metal dealers dispose of and sell these raw materials that can be used to make a new grill or other metal items. Photo: Belal Khan

The scrap metal recycler may be conveniently located within a larger recycling center. Other nearby options may include your local waste transfer station, which accepts trash and recyclables from citizens, businesses and commercial waste haulers. Metal melts down at high temperatures, so food residue does not pose a problem.

The same recycling method holds true for other appliances that are mostly metal – at least half or more, as long as no hazardous material is included. See our post about recycling appliances for information about toasters, washing machines, microwaves and other stuff too!

Plastic Components

If your grill has handy side shelves, remove them and look for the familiar recycling symbol. If they are made out of plastic, you might be able to take them to a recycling center that takes hard or rigid plastic. Otherwise, you might have to throw the shelving away with your garbage. The same info above holds true for gas control knobs and grill wheels if they are made of plastic. If these other grill parts are metal plated, call your recycling center to ask because usually mixed materials are not accepted.

This may also be the case for your grill lid if it is mostly the same metal as the rest of your grill but has plastic handles. See what your nearest scrap metal recycling location has to say about it, since usually mixed materials pose a problem for recyclers.

How To Dispose Of Propane Tanks

Liquid propane (LP) tanks are typically reusable through various LP tank exchange programs, which you may have seen at your local grocery store. If you are disposing of a tank, it should be given to a propane gas dealer for recycling or disposal. Any residual gas left in the tank means that a scrap metal dealer cannot safely dispose of LP tanks.

Remove the propane tank and recycle it separately from the grill. Even though most consumer propane cylinders are made of steel, remember that it’s a pressurized container with combustible gas inside so not only can it not go straight to a scrap recycler, but don’t mess with any valves! Leave it to the pros with proper tools to render your tank recyclable. For more information on safety and fuel canister certification, see Propane 101.

Read about the way Yosemite National Park devised to recycle propane tanks at their campgrounds in our article Recycle and Avoid Grizzly Bears.

Always be on the lookout for special recycling collection events near you!

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