Safely Dispose of Old Gasoline and Oil Mix Today (2021 Guide)

The Importance of Safe Disposal

You might be considering simply pouring them down the drain, tossing them in the trash or dumping them out on the ground. However, before you do so, you need to be aware of the fact that this is not only illegal, but also incredibly damaging to the environment.

Statistics show that one gallon of gasoline has the potential to pollute 750,000 gallons of water, while one gallon of motor oil can pollute approximately 250,000 gallons.

Used motor oil might be the biggest source of water pollution in the United States, but gasoline, paint, varnish and other chemicals can be just as environmentally toxic. For this reason, it’s essential that you follow the proper steps to dispose of these hazardous materials properly.


Dispose of Old Gasoline

Gasoline needs to be dealt with as soon as it gets

Gasoline needs to be dealt with as soon as it gets taken out of the car or it can be hazardous. It is a flammable material that reacts very quickly to smoke or fire and causes an explosion. Its components are also a danger to the atmosphere.

So, how to dispose of old gasoline? Always take precautionary measures before handling it. Dispose of the oil off carefully by placing it in a gas can.

Firstly, pour the old oil in a gas can very carefully. Check that the can doesn’t have a hole or the old oil doesn’t leak from anywhere. Place sheets under the container and also have a filter in place for putting in old gas safely and avoiding any spills into the ground as that can be dangerous.

Prevent it from leaking from the container also when keeping for reuse purposes. Throwing away used oil in garbage or sewers or drain is not a good idea as it is not safe for it to contact water.

Local Auto Repair Shops May Be Willing to Take it Off Your Hands

Believe it or not, some auto repair shops accept o

Believe it or not, some auto repair shops accept old gasoline. They can either dispose of it for you or repurpose it. Repurposing gas just means the use it in other machines. For example, they may use it for their lawnmower or snowblower. Or, they’ll dispose of the gas and use the container for future use. Don’t expect to get your container back. Even if they charge a fee to take the gas off your hands, it’s still cheaper than facing a fine issued for illegal dumping.

You may ask why you can’t just repurpose the gas on your own. The answer is, you can. There’s no reason why you can’t use the old gas in your lawn gear or a snowblower. Just don’t try to use it in another vehicle. There’s too great a risk that the gas is dirty. It’s also not smart to put dirty gasoline in a vehicle. It’s one thing to push a lawnmower full of used gas – it’s quite another to strap your children into a vehicle with potentially dirty gas in the tank.


Can you dump old gas on the ground?

The car starts poorly or not at all, accelerates significantly worse and the engine bucks.

Can I burn old gas?

You’re doing the best thing by diluting it and burning it in your mowers and truck. Most times this will not cause a problem. The worst stuff can be sent to your local hazardous waste disposal program if you have one. But if you live out in the country you can burn only a small quantity.

Can old gasoline be used? You can reuse gasoline by diluting it with fresh gas. However, if the leftover gasoline shows particles of rust, dirt, or discoloration, it may be contaminated. Do not reuse this fuel.

Disposing of Old Paints, Primers, Stains, Varnishes and Solvents

primersLeftover paint, primers, old solvents, empty pan cans and solvent soaked rags all qualify as hazardous waste. Many pain formulations are categorized as hazardous waste due to the fact that they may contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium.

On the other hand, varnish, some paints and most chemical solvents are all classified as hazardous waste due to their high flammability and also because they may contain various toxic chemical compounds.

As with motor oil, your local hazardous waste disposal center should have a special drop-off point for paints, flammable solvents and any contaminated rags, brushes, containers, etc.

See Also: Top Rated Paints for Interior Garage Painting

How to Dispose of Old Gasoline: Step by Step Guide

Different municipalities often have different rules when it comes to the disposal of harmful compounds like gasoline. Before you start, check with your local government to see if they have any specific regulations regarding how to dispose of old gas.

Just See The YouTube Video Blake’s Garage After That Read Our Process

Aside from regional variations, you can usually follow the steps below to dispose of your old gasoline:

Step 1:

Pour the gasoline into a clear container to check it before you dispose of it. If the gasoline was left outside it may simply have been watered down. You don’t need to know how to dispose of gasoline with water in it because they’ll separate easily, with the gas rising to the top. Let it settle, then carefully pour the gasoline into another container. Pour the water that’s leftover through a rag. This will catch the last traces of gas, making the remaining water safe to pour down the drain. Put the salvaged gasoline back into the engine. You may find it works just fine. If not, continue with step 2.

Step 2:

If the gas is dirty or unusable, empty it into a disposable, gasoline-approved jug for transportation. You can use a funnel to make the pouring easier. Many disposal centers require you to leave the gas can along with the gas, so a cheaper disposable model is often a good way to go.

Step 3:

Determine where you can take the gas to safely recycle or dispose of it. You’ll usually have a few different options:

Recycling centers: Some municipalities offer gasoline recycling through their recycling centers. When this is the case, it’s normally restricted to a few centers, or to a certain day or time of year. Check with your local government for specifics.

Hazardous waste centers: These are also government institutions. The main difference between these and recycling centers is that waste disposal centers don’t repurpose or recycle gasoline. Again, you want to be sure to call ahead, as some centers will only take gas at certain times, while others have a maximum amount they can accept in any given period. You may also need to pay for the disposal service, so be aware of that before you go.

Paid disposal service: In some areas, you can find services that will come and pick up old gasoline right from your home. The fees for these services tend to be pretty steep, so it’s probably not worth it unless you have a lot of old gasoline you need to get rid of.

Community collection events: Some cities hold regular recycling events, designed to encourage citizens to recycle. Check your local community events calendar to see if this is an option in your area, and when the next event will occur.

Local fire department: Some fire departments will dispose of old gasoline. If not, they’ll likely be able to tell you the best option for your region.

Auto garage: Mechanics already have a lot of hazardous fluids to dispose of, like the old oil, transmission fluid, and other fluids they drain out of cars they service. Many shops will happily add your old gas to their waste for free. As with other services, call first to make sure this is something the shop offers before you show up with a gas can in hand.

Step 4:

If you’re not able to take the gas for recycling or disposal right away, secure the lid on the container and store it in a cool, dim place. Make sure it’s out of the reach of any kids or animals in the home—old gas doesn’t burn as readily, but it’s still not safe to drink. As long as the lid is secure, you can safely keep old gasoline in storage indefinitely, so there’s no rush if you can’t get to the disposal right away.

As you can see, it’s a pretty simple process. It all comes down to knowing your options and doing your homework to find out where you can take your old gas (and when). With a little digging, you should be able to find a way to dispose of it for free, even if your city doesn’t offer gasoline recycling.

Just as important as knowing how to dispose of gas correctly is knowing what not to do. We use gas so often that it’s easy to think of it as harmless, but it’s not something that you should handle lightly, even after it’s lost its combustibility to age. There are a few things you shouldn’t do when you have old gasoline:

  • Don’t throw old gas in the trash. Not only is this illegal, but it is also a potential hazard. Under the right conditions, even old gasoline can start or contribute to a fire.
  • Don’t pour old gasoline down the drain. Harmful chemicals like gasoline become a public health hazard when they enter the water system. This is aside from the damage they can do to the animals and plants around sewage drains. One gallon of gas can pollute as much as 750,000 gallons of water, so don’t delude yourself into thinking a little bit won’t do any harm.
  • Don’t store gas cans outdoors. Gas cans are durable, but the plastic models can be punctured and metal cans are susceptible to rust. Leaving old gas outside makes it more likely the cans will leak and seep into the environment. If you don’t have a garage or basement, keep the gasoline in a closet or cabinet away from food. You can wrap it in a plastic bag if you’re worried about odors or leaks.

The penalty for illegally disposing of gas can be steep, and can even include jail time as well as costly fines. Even if you don’t get caught, the toll on the environment can be steep. Disposing of old gasoline safely is worth the small amount of extra effort it entails.

How to dispose of an old gas oil mix

How to dispose of an old gas oil mix

If the oil is the only contaminant in the gas, you may still be able to use it in a small engine. Mix it in with fresh gas in a ratio of 1 to 4 and it should power your engine just fine.

If the gas in the mix is too old to re-use, you can dispose of it the same way you would old gas. The only difference is you may have to dispose of it rather than recycle it. Call your local recycling center to ask if they’ll recycle the mix. If not, any auto mechanic that takes old gas will also dispose of old gas mixed with oil.

Recycling Old Gasoline YouTube Video

Ans: In some cases, yes. You’ll need to check on how badly degraded it is first. Put a cone-shaped coffee filter into a funnel, then carefully pour the gasoline through it into a clear glass container, like a mason jar. Make sure it’s something you don’t plan to use for food products.

After you’ve filtered the gasoline, let it settle for a couple of minutes then inspect it. If it’s still cloudy or has a sour, rancid odor, it’s beyond useful life and should be disposed of. Otherwise, you can mix this reconditioned gas in with fresh gas, in a ratio of 1 part old to 4 parts fresh. The resulting tank might not work as efficiently, but it will power a lawnmower or a similar piece of equipment.

Q: Does AutoZone take old gas?

Ans: For gasoline disposal, AutoZone is not an option. Auto shops that offer oil changes are more likely to provide the service.

Q: Can you dump old gas on the ground?

Ans: No, you shouldn’t dump gasoline anywhere. In years past, people would dump old gasoline on the ground as a cheap alternative to weed killers. This should give you some indication of the impact gasoline has on the environment. Once it rains, that gasoline is picked up and washed into the water supply, too, so it has further-reaching consequences than the patch of ground you pour it on.

Q: How long does it take gas to go bad?

Ans: If properly stored in a metal tank or tightly sealed plastic container, gasoline lasts up to 6 months on average. Oxidation is the main reason gas degrades since the volatile compounds will evaporate with time. The more you can do to prevent exposure to the air, the longer your gas will last.

Q: Do gas stations dispose of old gas?

Ans: It is not common for gas stations to recycle gas, especially the convenience-oriented chains. Gas stations go through their gasoline quickly enough that they rarely have the need for disposal services. Small local gas stations that also include service and repair shops may offer gas disposal services through that side of their business.

Q: Can I burn old gas?

Ans: Yes, old gasoline will still burn, just not at the level of efficiency required to run an engine. Burning off old gasoline is not a recommended method of disposal, however, as it’s very difficult to do safely in a home environment.

Conclusion: Things to Never Do with Gasoline

Just in case you think that our guide seems like too much work, we’d like to remind people that so-called “alternative” disposal methods are not to be attempted under any circumstances:

  • Flushing gasoline down the toilet — it’s dangerous and won’t work
  • Pouring gasoline away down your household sinks or drains — similar to the toilet situation, the gasoline will damage your plumbing and it is very harmful for the environment
  • Burning off excess gasoline in controlled fires — this is highly dangerous to you and others around you, plus it releases terrible fumes into the air

You might think that doing any of these would save you time, but they are not only ill-advised, but possibly even illegal in your state or local area. Always dispose of gasoline safely and properly.

If you find that you are having to dispose of a lot of gasoline, consider either cutting down on how much you purchase, or at least investing in a fuel stabilizer to help the gas stay viable for longer. You can add the stabilizer when you know that the tool or vehicle in question is about to be stored for a protracted period and there is therefore a risk of the gasoline getting past its prime.

Stay safe with gasoline; use your best judgment and follow the above guidelines and suggestions.


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