How to Dispose of Old Gas

For many people, the fact that gas “goes bad” is a surprise. It indeed does get too old to be effective after a while, at which point it’s best to throw it out. But if you didn’t know gas goes bad, it may be even more of a surprise to find that you can’t just throw it in the trash or pour it down the drain! You have to dispose of it in a way that is safe for the planet and the people on it. So if you’re looking to get rid of fuel you can no longer use, check out some tips on how to dispose of old gas the safe way.

stream of gasoline in liquid form

Determine If Your Gas Is Too Old to Use

Your first step should be to find out if your gas is old. Maybe it’s been sitting in your lawnmower for a few months, and you’re wondering if you can still use it. To find this out, pour a little bit into a clear container. Take another clear container and fill that with fresh gas so you can compare the two. If the older gas has a bit of a sour smell or looks much darker than the new gas, it’s probably not good anymore.

After all, when gas sits in a tank or can for several months, it starts to degrade enough that it might not even be able to start your lawnmower, let alone a car. Granted, you may be able to use it still by adding some new gas to it. For example, you can take the new gas and pour it into the tank until it’s about three-fourths full, and then top it off with old gas. If you do this, consider putting in a fuel additive to improve the gas quality.

That being said, in some cases, the gas is too old to use at all. If you see any signs of dirt or rust in the old gas, don’t put it in your tank. You don’t want to risk damaging your fuel system. Instead, you need to focus on finding out how to dispose of the old gas safely.

Look for a Disposal Center in Your City

Most cities have at least one hazardous waste center where you can dispose of old gas. You just need to find one, which you can do by visiting a site like Earth911 and putting in your zip code. You can also call the fire department in your area to find out where they would suggest bringing the old gas.

Once you find a spot to dispose of old gas, it’s time to put it in a container that’s safe to use. It has to be a government-approved container for gas, such as a plastic gas can. Use a funnel to pour the gas into it, making sure not to inhale the fumes or get any gas on your hands or clothing.

red gasoline container

Then drive the old gas to the hazardous waste location nearest you. Take care not to let it spill in your car, and do not smoke on the way there! Once you arrive, you can simply pour the old gas into the designated spot, and then bring your gas can home with you.

Dumping your old gas just anywhere is bad for the environment, as it can contaminate water or even result in a fire. So make sure you dispose of it safely every time! But it’s even better if you can avoid ending up with old gas in the first place. You can do that by adding fuel stabilizer to your gas before you store any vehicles or outdoor power equipment for more than a month or so. This way, you can save yourself a trip to the hazardous waste center while also ensuring your gas is like new even a few months from now.

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  • Good article. Thanks.