The Problem with Disposing of Gasoline
We don’t need to sell you on the benefits of gasoline. If anything, we should all probably be using less of it. Either way, it’s a simple fact that it’s an essential tool for our daily lives.
But what happens when it goes bad? You may not know it, but gasoline has a shelf life. After a while, it becomes useless, and it needs to be disposed of. Doing so safely might seem like a difficult task, but we’re here to tell you the best way to dispose of your gasoline in a safe, environmentally friendly manner.
How to Dispose of Gasoline
There are a lot of ways you can make use of old gasoline (skip ahead to see for yourself). Throwing gasoline away should be your last resort. But if it’s really past its prime, then you may have no other option.
When it comes time to throw it away, you probably have one question – what do I do? It’s not like you can just throw it in the garbage or pour it down the drain. How are you supposed to dispose of it?
Unfortunately, your options are limited when disposing of gasoline. Basically, you’ll need to rely on a government program in your area that is designed for disposing of hazardous waste. A quick Google search for “gasoline disposal” + your area should reveal all the details about your local household hazardous waste recycling program.
Typically, these government programs will require you to deliver the gasoline in an approved container (such as a metal or plastic jerry can).
From there, it’s as simple as taking the gas to the government disposal location, at the approved date and time. They’ll direct you what to do from there – usually requiring you to pour your gas into a large storage container on the premises (or they may handle this step for you).
And there you have it! Pretty simple, but it does require some knowledge of programs in your area.
How Long Does Gasoline Last?
Before you dispose of your gasoline, you should actually be sure that it’s no longer fit to use! You don’t want to get rid of perfectly useable gasoline. But it’s not always so easy to tell what’s good to use.
Over time, gasoline degrades due to oxygen exposure. The result is that is loses its combustibility, and is no longer suitable for powering an engine.
Generally speaking, gasoline lasts roughly six months when stored properly. The key phrase here being “stored properly”. Gasoline should be tightly sealed, in a proper gas container made of durable plastic or metal. It should be stored in a cool, dark place (such as a garage or shed). If you follow these two requirements, your gasoline should last half a year easily. It may be good for longer than that, but there are no guarantees past that point.
How Do I Tell If My Gasoline Can Be Used?
If you have gasoline which is on the older side, but you still think it might be good to use, there are some methods to help you know for sure.
The best method is to compare it to “fresh” gasoline. Get some fresh gas from the station, and pour it into a transparent container. Do the same with your old gas, and compare. If there are noticeable differences in color and smell (don’t inhale too much), then your gasoline is probably past its expiry date.
That being said, gasoline that has lost some potency can still be used in certain situations. Old gasoline doesn’t necessarily damage an engine, it just doesn’t combust as effectively. However, if you mix it with new gasoline, the combustion may still occur, so that all of the gasoline can be used. Just be sure that, as a general rule, you are using over 50% new gasoline.
Thanks for reading our guide to disposing of gasoline. As you can see, your options are pretty much limited to government sponsored recycling programs. We hope we’ve also made it clear that the more important factor is knowing when you need to dispose of your gas. No sense throwing away useable gasoline. For these reasons and more, always consider gasoline disposal as your last resort!