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Author Topic:   Disposal of old gas
RJG posted 06-27-2006 03:12 PM ET (US)   Profile for RJG   Send Email to RJG  
I have a tank of about 10 gallons of old gas I want to dispose of. I want to keep the tank and get rid of the gas. There does not seem to be a recycle outfit in Jacksonville who can do this.
jflots posted 06-27-2006 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jflots  Send Email to jflots     
I use it up in my lawn mower.
st posted 06-27-2006 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for st  Send Email to st     
I pour about 2 Gallons each time in my Honda car until it's gone; no harm done...
home Aside posted 06-27-2006 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Lockeman's Evinrude dealer burns up any old gas he drains from tanks in his Hi-Lo.......see if there are any old factories that might want it for their hi-lo


Florida15 posted 06-27-2006 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15    
Call the county dump. Around here, about twice a year they have an "Amnesty Day." They set up a collection site and take old paint, gas, batteries, etc.
With small amounts of gas, I pour it in a bucket and just let it sit outside under the back porch. It eventually evaporates.
drd posted 06-28-2006 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for drd  Send Email to drd     
car or lawn mower, just mix it with fresh gas.
David Pendleton posted 06-28-2006 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Here's what not to do...

I had about a half gallon of old gas to get rid of, so I took a large metal pan I use for oil changes, put in out in the driveway, poured in the gas and set it alight.

Bad idea. You'da thunk a jetliner went down in my driveway. The flames were 8 feet high and the smoke was thick, black and taking over the neighborhood.

I had to use a fire extinguisher to put it out.

I would add some SeaFoam to it and burn it in your small engines.

Plotman posted 06-28-2006 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Florida 15 - that is no different from just pouring it in a parking lot.
Binkie posted 06-28-2006 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Recently I disposed of a couple of gallons of old gas for an elderly neighbor. When I buy new tires for my truck and car, I usually take the old tires with me, so I can save the "dispoal" fee. I tell the tire dealer, that I use the tires for fenders on my tugboat, but I just toss them in the vacent lot next to my house. Well my neighbors complained to me that the 16 tires or so were unsightly, so when the old guy neighbor said he wanted to get rid of a couple of gallons of gas, a light clicked on in my head. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Well, to make a long story short, I guess you can`t keep everyone happy cause then they complained about the black smoke wafting through the neighborhood.
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-29-2006 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Plotman: it's both better and worse than the parking lot.
Better because the gas won't disolve the asphalt in someone's
parking lot. Worse because the fumes could accumulate and

In any event, those hydrocarbons are gonna make smog.

David: I had a bit better experience with burning. I cut the
top out of a 24 oz beer can, filled it about half way, and
lit it. It took a couple of hours to burn off, and made a
bit of smoke (and probably smog).


Florida15 posted 06-29-2006 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15    
Plotman, educate me. How is letting it evaporate the same as pouring it out in a parking lot ? If you pour it out, it will eventually rain and the residue will make it's way to the ground(water).
I'm not talking about large amounts of gas, I take those to amnesty day at the dump. I'm talking about less than a gallon. I'm as environmentally conscience as anyone I know and do not knowingly do anything that will harm the environment.
I had considered pouring it out on my driveway and lighting it but thought better of it.
I don't see your solution listed.
prj posted 06-29-2006 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
When gasoline "evaporates", it does NOT magically disappear.
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-29-2006 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
When you pour it out in a parking lot, the parking lot is more
or less impermeable, and most of the gas will evaporate.


RJG posted 06-29-2006 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for RJG  Send Email to RJG     
Please tell us that you don't really throw old tires into a vacant lot then set fire to them in order to save a few dollars.
JMARTIN posted 06-29-2006 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
You might try calling your local fuel distributor. I have oil/water seperator tanks at my cardlock stations hooked to the storm drains. If one of my customers has some old fuel they want to get rid of, I will let them dump it in my tank. John
Plotman posted 06-29-2006 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Whether you let it evaoprate slowly from a bucket, or dump it on the ground so it evaporates quickly, it is ending up in the atmosphere. The evaporation of spilled fuel is a significant contributor to air pollution.

hcr250 posted 06-29-2006 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for hcr250  Send Email to hcr250     
put in in a large metal trash can, light it on fire. Pour more on as needed, grab hotdogs.
RJG posted 06-29-2006 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJG  Send Email to RJG     
Thank you gentlemen.
I am looking for the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of this stuff. I will call the local fuel distributor for some more ideas. I don't wish to just have it dumped somewhere and was hoping to find some government approved disposal site. Then again, my neighbor is kind of an a--hole so maybe I will pump it into his new Escalade;)
where2 posted 06-29-2006 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
If gas prices keep climbing, or you happen to get a Hurricane through Jacksonville, you should have no trouble getting rid of that old gas. After a hurricane, you'd be amazed what your neighbors will burn in their generator, especially if they don't have to stand in line to buy it!

Thoroughly amused by David and Chuck's comments about burning it off in an open container. I had a similar experience with some hydrocarbon fluid as a teen. Very Very bad idea...

If you hang a sign out on the end of the driveway offering free gas, you'll get someone willing to put it in their own container and burn it in something... At $3/gallon, it would go a long way in my riding mower... The neighbor with the Escalade may volunteer to take it and put it in his gas guzzler...

Binkie posted 06-29-2006 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
My post was not meant to be serious, although I don`t consider myself to be a tree hugger.
JR in NJ posted 06-30-2006 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JR in NJ  Send Email to JR in NJ     
I recently looked into this to get rid of about 40 gallons of very old gas from a boat I bought. The county (Camden, NJ) has hazardous waste days 3 or 4 times each spring where they collect fuel, pesticides, oil paint, etc.

It is run by a subcontractor and they dispose of the waste properly (AFAIK). They even gave out new gas cans.

Ours is run through the public works dept..


Off hand posted 06-30-2007 01:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Off hand  Send Email to Off hand     
Just place the fuel in an old cheap fuel can and ride around jacksonville with it plainly visible for all to see. It may take a couple of days, but someone will gladly liberate it from you, and they will dispose of it. Problem solved!!
rustyn posted 06-26-2008 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for rustyn  Send Email to rustyn     
Making the bad gas convenient for theft seems like poetic justice. It reminds me of a family story about a neighbor stealing firewood. The victims bored out one log and poured gun powder in it. Then set it aside so as not to use it themselves and eventually identifying the culprit. I guess there weren't as many legal ramifications back in the day.
swist posted 06-26-2008 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
A lot of these suggestions seem silly or non-eco friendly at worst.

Modern auto engines will burn almost anything in small quantity - dumping it in your car (at some reasonable level of dilution with good gas), has to be the way to go. Even dumping pre-mix gas this way is not likely to hurt anything.

Graphiterod posted 06-26-2008 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Graphiterod  Send Email to Graphiterod     
Every Spring I siphon old gas from my boat to my car. I make sure it mixes with 93 octane at a 10:1 ratio. Enviromentally friendly, legal and solves the problem.

lrlolbl posted 07-14-2009 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lrlolbl  Send Email to lrlolbl     
All of these methods are not really great for your neighborhoods or the Earth.
Just go to to find a local business that will take your old gasoline and find a use for it,recycle it, or dispose of any hazardous Material correctly.
Buckda posted 07-14-2009 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Way to dig up an ancient thread for your first post...and to chide the members here at that!

Welcome aboard...we take all kinds....i guess. :)

humboldt jim posted 07-14-2009 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for humboldt jim  Send Email to humboldt jim     
Here's what i did with 40+ gallons of tainted fuel in my tank, I put an ad on Craigslist under the Free section and I got two calls in 10 minutes. Guy came and drained it and hauled it away.
inlandwhaler posted 07-15-2009 12:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for inlandwhaler  Send Email to inlandwhaler     
I drained 25 gallons of 3 year old gas and used it 5 gallons at a time in my '04 Dodge Ram. Truck uses so much gas it went through so fast the engine never knew it was in the tank!!
jimh posted 07-15-2009 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Newcomer lrlolbl

All of these methods are not really great for your neighborhoods or the Earth.

This criticism is really very wrong and unjustified. First of all, if one reads the suggestions given in this thread, they are mainly all suggestions of re-use of the gasoline as a fuel in internal combustion engines. I cannot see how using gasoline as a fuel is something that could be considered "not really great...for the Earth."

Only one suggestion was offered which I consider to be somewhat suspect in terms of environmental impact: to put small quantities into a pan for evaporation.

The nonsense about pouring onto tires and burning was clearly offered in jest and later specifically qualified as an attempt at humor.

There is no guarantee that taking gasoline to a commercial enterprise and paying for disposal will result in less environmental impact. It will result in more expense and improved cash flow for the business accepting it for disposal. This looks to me like an attempt to leverage "green" for profit. Again, I see nothing to criticize in re-use of gasoline as a fuel for internal combustion engines.

highanddry posted 07-15-2009 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Put it in your car, as long as you don't have any type of lead additive in the fuel it will harm nothing.
Sal A posted 07-15-2009 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
I siphoned it into my Chevy. Binky your post was hysterical; thanks for the laugh!
Plotman posted 07-15-2009 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Sure - you have questionable gas you don't want to burn in your $5,000 outboard, so burn it in your $30,000 car.

If your lawnmower will burn it, so will your outboard.

pglein posted 07-16-2009 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
I think a lot of the suggestions to take it to the hazardous waste facility for disposal are missing the point. He wants to save the containers. In my experience, when you take liquid waste to the hazardous waste facility, they take the containers.
deepwater posted 07-16-2009 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
First,, Just how old is the gas ??,,1 year 18 mos ??,,If its over 2 years old mix it with used motor oil 50/50 and soak your pine logs in it,,Its great for starting brush fires in a rain storm,, Just cut the logs 2 to 3 inches thick and as long as a 5gal bucket it deep,,Fill the bucket tightly with logs stood on end and poor in the oil/gas mix untill the bucket is 1/2 full and let it soak (keep the lids on tight) ,,During a rain is the best time to burn lots of brush,,The rain keeps the smoke and ash down and the oil logs burn hot enough to dry out the wet brush and it all goes away as fertilizer
Tom Hemphill posted 07-16-2009 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill    
I took a 6-gallon portable marine gas tank containing a couple of very old gallons of two-stroke mix to the household hazardous waste collection site offered in my town twice a year. They cheerfully accepted it and asked if I wanted the container back (which I didn't). I thought using it in any of my vehicles or power equipment was risky. It's my hope that it got burned in some multi-fuel furnace somewhere.
Sal A posted 07-16-2009 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Combining 3 gallons of low octane, stale gas combined with 17 gallons of fresh highly circulated gas in your Chrysler, Ford or Chevy ain't no thang. Besides, if it ruins my vehicle my gubment gonna warranty it.

White Bear posted 07-17-2009 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for White Bear  Send Email to White Bear     
This whole discussion reminds me of the current cell phone ad in which the child in the family balks at using "roll- over" minutes because they are old. The only real question with aged gasoline is whether or not it will harm the engine it is used in. The less sophisticated the engine, the less the chance of harm. Of course, aged gasoline will not produce the same power as fresh, but considering the cost differential this trade off should be acceptable to most folks. In short, use vintage fuel in an engine (mixed with fresh, if necessary) and keep the environmentalists from picking at questionable disposal techniques.
annapoliswhaler posted 07-17-2009 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for annapoliswhaler    
not sure I want to eat hot dogs grilled over burning gas either!

placerville posted 07-18-2009 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
I did what Humbolt Jim did when I bought an old Guardian with 100+ gallons of old fuel. I put it on Craigslist "free" as old boat gas. I had a dozen responses overnight. Most of the people had old vehicles or generators. I ended up "donating" it to a church camp caretaker who was thrilled to get. Even gave me a tax deductible donation receipt.
R T M posted 07-18-2009 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
when I buy a gallon of milk it has a date stamp on it,and if the milk tastes or smells bad before that date, I can take it back to the grocery store and get a refund or a new gallon. As far as gasoline is concerned I have never seen a date stamp on a pump. Actually every time the underground tanks are filled, a sticker should be on the pump stating that this fuel should be used be a certain date. Without this I would believe there is no shelf life for gasoline. Why would I need to be educated by outside sources. Just pour the gas in old milk containers and bring it back to your friendly gas station, and tell him it smells bad, and demand replacement. When he refuses that, just tell him you will just leave it and take your business elsewhere. Problem solved.

You might make the daily news the next day, if he has your tag number, but the article will reach a hungry lawyer looking for publicity, and he will get you off, becuase you thought all businesses had return policies like Walmart, and you and your lawyer might make a few bucks and get on Fox news.


Gene in NC posted 07-19-2009 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gene in NC  Send Email to Gene in NC     
Raleigh, NC has hazardous waste day one a month at the major landfills. Take whatever and return container if you choose.


PeteB88 posted 07-20-2009 05:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Lawnmower, car, Craigslist or Freecycle - why does this have to be so hard? No brainer. I'd be putting it in one of my cars.
tom976 posted 07-20-2009 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for tom976  Send Email to tom976     
Makes a great weedkiller around the fence too!
pglein posted 07-20-2009 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
It's my hope that it got burned in some multi-fuel furnace somewhere.

Was this in Connecticut? As I understand it, Connecticut has a state of the art hazardous waste facility that completely removes all carcinogens, poisons and harmful materials from the environment, and just keeping the residents of the great state of Connecticut out of harms way.......

....they call it "New York."

JMARTIN posted 07-20-2009 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
I am sure you are kidding Rich, but let me poke holes in it anyhow.

Putting gasoline in a "non approved container" like a milk jug, is against the law. At least that is what it says on my state fire marshal signs.

If I get a load of gas in today, and it is being dumped in a tank that still has some gas in it from last month, what do I use for the expiration date?

Like I have said before, most distributors of petroleum products have a waste/recycle tank where you can get rid of bad gas for free.


ssg13565 posted 01-06-2010 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for ssg13565  Send Email to ssg13565     
I just suffered from bent push rods in my snow blower engine.

I read that a possible cause was old gasoline.

"Another cause is old fuel. Not old enough to prevent running but old just the same. Varnishes up intake valve stems. When they cool they stick. If bent push rod is on intake valve, look for varnish build up on intake valve stem."

ssg13565 posted 01-06-2010 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for ssg13565  Send Email to ssg13565     
I meant to add that disposing of old gasoline by burning it in your car could be a problem unless you only burn a little of the old gas mixed with lots of fresh gas as suggested by another poster.

That also means that if you have a little old gas in your tank, but fill the tank with lots of new gas, it's probably not a problem.

Jefecinco posted 01-06-2010 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

Old fuel as a cause of bent push rods seems very unlikely to me. Exceeding the recommended maximum RPM level is probably the most frequent cause of bent push rods. This can be a particular problem with snow blower engines. Frequently they are difficult to start due to the cold weather in which they are used. Some operators give in to the temptation to use starting fluid to get the engine to start. Often the engine is flooded due to being cranked with the choke closed for some time. A flooded engine started with a heavy blast of starting fluid will often exceed the recommended RPM.

If a valve sticks in the closed position it would be very difficult to crank the engine in order to start it. If the valve sticks in the open position the rocker arm would not be touching the push rod until the intake stroke of the affected cylinder has begun.


cmarques posted 01-06-2010 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
I've burned several gallons of old 2 stroke gas through my truck at a time and never had a problem. When I worked at a Ford dealer, some of my techs would jump on the trash fuel we drained out of cars and dilute it in their own cars without a problem. One would take drained diesel/gas mix when someone would fill their diesel truck with gas and add a few gallons at a time to his Dakota without any problems.
I guess that's better than when we just poured it down the catch basin in the front yard!


BQUICK posted 01-07-2010 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for BQUICK  Send Email to BQUICK     
In my opinion, I would not take the chance running in another vehicle since the old fuel is probably loaded with water due to the ethanol. Water can and will can clog injectors. Been there, I bought a car cheap that had gotten a bad load of gas (w/water in it). Tank had been drained but it still ran bad. I had to remove all the injectors and have them cleaned/flowed. Ran like new after that.

Also, I dumped 25 gallons of water laden fuel at my marina that has a disposal area with a 55 gallon drum. They got quite upset saying that it was only for small amounts like from fuel filter changes. They wanted to charge me ALOT of $$$ since they have to pay to dispose of it. They let it slide as they didn't make it clear on the container.

weekendwarrior posted 01-07-2010 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
Check locally for hazardous waste drop off locations. The county I live in has several. You can leave all sorts of stuff there; fuel, batteries, poison, old flares, electronics, etc.. Free to residents.
number9 posted 01-07-2010 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Had some last year that was too old and bad to burn in an engine. Poured into a coffee can close to half full at a time. Made a wick out of a paper towel and carefully lighted. Slowly and smokely burned away.
daveb posted 01-07-2010 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for daveb  Send Email to daveb     
Binkie:Impressive.That is serious redneck approach to the issue. [Changed topic to primative techniques for night illumination while fishing from shore. Please stay on topic--gasoline disposal. Thank you.--jimh]
R T M posted 01-08-2010 07:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
[Changed topic to discuss the discussion itself. Please limit discussion in this thread to disposal methods for old gasoline fuels. Thank you.]

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