Gasoline goes bad! Like many other products, it has a shelf life. In most cases, gas will go bad if you leave in the container and put it away in storage for a long time. Old gas is not useless after all; you can still mix with new gas and use.
So, how can you dispose of old gasoline the right way? Gasoline is environmentally damaging if you dispose it wrongly. It can contaminate the water, cause landscape damages, or even kill animals. Check these tips on how to dispose of old gasoline.
- How to Tell If Gasoline Is Old
- Step by Step on How to Dispose of Old or Bad Gasoline
How to Tell If Gasoline Is Old
Before you dispose of your gasoline, determine if it is old first. Check these tips that will help you identify old gasoline.
The Sight and Smell Test
Gasoline appearance and smell confirm to you whether it is bad or not. Can you smell some foul odor coming from your fuel tank? Like rotten fruits or perhaps spoilt alcohol? The gasoline in there has gone bad. Open the tank and look at the liquid closely. Does it appear dark and cloudy? Oh! it has some clumps floating.
Try pouring it out of the container. If it does not flow out easily, the gasoline has surely gone stale, and you need to dispose of it.
Remember the clean gas, put it in a separate container, and observe it alongside the stored gas. A difference confirms to you that the old gas is old.
The sight and smell test may not be effective if the gasoline is inside an equipment tank. If this is the case, the equipment’s performance will give you a warning of oxidized fuel. In most instances, the engine will have trouble starting or fail to start entirely.
Now you know the gasoline is stale, and it is time to dispose of it.
You might be thinking about trashing the gas on the roadside, in a garbage can or a drainage system. Keep in mind that gasoline is highly flammable and harmful to the environment. A gallon of gasoline potentially pollutes 750,000 gallons of water.
It is just right that you dispose of old gasoline in the right way as prescribed by your city. Visit the nearest hazardous waste disposal center and get information. Until you do, here now is a step-by-step guide of how you will get rid of oxidized gas.
Step by Step on How to Dispose of Old or Bad Gasoline
You need to determine that gas is bad before you dispose of; otherwise, you will run a loss. It is easy to tell if gas is bad; all you need is a sense of sight and smell.
STEP 1: Find The Nearest Contaminated Gasoline Disposal Center
- The web is a good start. Simply search for “hazardous waste disposal center,” specifically in your county, state, or city.
- You could also ask around your neighborhood for where to dispose of hazardous waste.
- Contact the waste management center in your area and inquire how and where gasoline is disposed of. This is also a good opportunity to find out the frequency of disposal. Not all centers are opened throughout the week.
- Given the flammable nature of gasoline, calling the fire department in your city is imperative too. This helps you get information on how to dispose of gasoline and reduce the chances of fire properly.
STEP 2: Put The Aged Gasoline in a Government Certified Container
- Transfer the contaminated gasoline to a government certified container meant to hold old gasoline specifically. Common containers are plastic gas jugs and jerry cans. According to fire code guidelines, a container should hold less than five gallons.
- Several organizations have developed standard specifications for portable plastic and metallic gasoline and petroleum fuel containers. Find one which is preferable to you.
- Use a funnel while transferring the gas to avoid spillage or splashing. Ensure to fill not more than 95 percent of the container to allow space for fumes. Keep your face at a distance from the spout of the container to minimize inhalation.
- Seal the container tightly with a lid when done transferring to avoid leaks. Place the jerry can or plastic jug in a second receptacle to secure. This prevents the gas from spilling in your car during transportation to the disposal center.
- Wash your hands thoroughly when finished. Clean all the other spills that may be on your clothes, surfaces, or floor. Use baking soda to absorb any leftovers.
STEP 3: Take Old Gasoline to a Disposal Center
- Load the receptacle into the vehicle (in the trunk) and drive safely to the disposal center. Ensure NOT to smoke in the car as gas may have spilled or splashed on you. A small amount of gasoline can lead to a big flame.
- Once you reach the disposal center, empty the gasoline into their storage container.
- You can take the empty gallon back home for use next time you want to dispose of stale gasoline responsibly.
Sometimes going through the process of finding a disposal center and taking the gas, there can prove daunting. If this is the case, you can find a garage close to you that can accept used gas. In case you are lucky to find one, ask if they can dispose of the old gas for you.
Also, inquire about what you need to do to aid in the process of bad gas disposal responsibly. Some garages will do this at a fee. So, it is good to know what kind of expenses you will incur. All is not lost; you can still learn how to recycle gasoline.
Tips for Handling Gasoline Safely
Since you now know that gasoline is highly flammable and toxic, it is vital to take precautions. Doing this will prevent or mitigate the effects of a gasoline explosion. The following tips will be helpful.
- Work outdoors whenever possible or in a well-ventilated space.
- Avoid smoking, using lighters, matches, or any other kinds of ignition sources.
- Turn off the equipment before opening the gas tank.
- Store gas in government-approved containers with warning labels. The container MUST have a tight-fitting cap for both the vent and
- spout. Red is the recommended color for containers and should be conspicuously labeled “GASOLINE.”
- Do not use gas as a cleaning agent, a solvent, an accelerant, an insecticide, weed killer, a weapon, or fuel devices designed to use other fuels like kerosene.
- If gasoline accidentally gets into your eyes or skin, quickly wash off with cold water.
- If you accidentally swallow gasoline, immediately drink milk then call a poison helpline.
- Do not use glass or plastic bottles for storing gasoline.
- Thoroughly clean all the surfaces used while working with gasoline.
- Always store the gasoline container in a cool and well-ventilated area. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or heat.
- Acquire a class B type fire extinguisher and install it right next to the gasoline storage area.
- Keep the gas out of the rich of children at all times.
IMPORTANT!! Always do your best to immediately remove any victim from a flame source and dial 911 to begin any emergency medical assistance.
Why Is It Important to Dispose of Bad or Old Gasoline?
Accidents caused by improperly disposed of gasoline are a major cause of burns in the U. S. gasoline burns account for approximately 13,000 – 15,000 emergency room visits per year.
More than 150, 000 fires are reported annually. Of these, 120,000 are from unoccupied vehicles, and over 6,000 are residential. More than 500 deaths result from these numbers and more than $500 million in property loss.
According to the U. S Fire Administration, over 500 burn injuries caused by misuse or mishandled gasoline are reported yearly. This is only related to cases that were reported and responded to by fire departments.
This means that there are more accidents caused by stale gas that was mishandled that are not reported. Hence, the need to properly dispose of old or bad gasoline. Apart from these, other reasons also come into play, such as the ones below.
- Stale gas is environmentally toxic and highly combustible. If left lying around, a slight ignition can cause enormous fire leading to loss of life and property.
- Old gas has the potential of damaging the engine.
- Bad gas forms gum residue that can cause blockages.
- If the fuel has ethanol components, water may be drawn into the fuel, which results in internal corrosion.
Dumping aged gasoline just anywhere is not suitable for the environment as it can cause fire or contaminate air and water resources. So, anytime you have oxidized fuel, dispose of safely using the steps above, considering safety tips. It would even be better if you don’t let gas stay in the container for long.
Always add fuel stabilizer to your gas before storage or recycling by mixing it with new fuel next time you use it. By doing this, you save gasoline, the environment, and save yourself a trip to the hazardous waste disposal center.