Recycling Gas Cylinders

Our Innovative Approach to Ensuring Effective Product Stewardship
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As a leading U.S.-based cylinder manufacturer, Worthington Industries is committed to recycling discarded residential gas cylinders commonly used for camping, grilling, DIY projects and celebrations requiring portable propane and butane, hand-held torches, and portable helium. 

We believe that a collaborative approach is the best way to develop recycling programs that meet the needs of consumers, retailers, producers and government.   

We are establishing best practices for collecting and recycling of residential gas cylinders that:

  • Protect the environment by ensuring proper end-of-life management
  • Ensure safe handling and reuse of residual gases
  • Minimize impact on government by relying on private-sector resources and expertise
  • Support ongoing improvements to enhance service and streamline operations



In a first-of-its-kind effort, Worthington Industries took a leadership role in working with Connecticut lawmakers and a wide range of stakeholders to design legislation, PA 22-27, for an industry-led, convenient and operationally efficient recycling program for certain residential gas cylinders.
Signed into law on May 10, 2022, this innovative approach establishes a process for free, convenient, and accessible statewide collection of residential gas cylinders. The program also includes a consumer education campaign about the proper end-of-life management of residential gas cylinders and locations of collection sites.


Worthington Industries is committed to replicating this sustainable, collaborative approach to environmental stewardship in other states that includes stakeholder engagement from both private and public sectors. Contact: Annie Lane, Director of Product Sustainability, at [email protected].


  • Why is it important to recycle residential gas cylinders?
    As with other materials, recycling residential gas cylinders is good for the environment. Metal recycled from these cylinders can be reused and made into other products. In addition, it is important to ensure safe handling of residential gas cylinders when consumers are done using them.
  • Why is Worthington Industries concerned about this issue?
    As a leading global supplier of residential gas cylinders, Worthington Industries is committed to recycling cylinders commonly used for camping, grilling, DIY projects and celebrations. We became involved because we believed that a collaborative approach could result in an innovative solution that would be convenient for consumers and operationally efficient for all parties while delivering environmental benefits.
  • How does Connecticut’s PA 22-27 work?

    The new law meets five primary objectives:

    • Establishes a process for free, convenient, and accessible statewide collection of residential gas cylinders.
    • Ensures safe handling after use at home or in state parks and campgrounds.
    • Requires an industry-led recycling program that minimizes public sector involvement, which is projected to deliver up to $200,000 in annual state savings.
    • Enables producers to continuously improve their programs and product at their expense.
    • Allows for the reuse of residual gases and the recycling of the metal in the cylinders.
  • What is the timeline for CT PA 22-27 to be implemented?
    The law requires plans to be submitted by July 1, 2023 and implemented by October 1, 2025. The timeline provides appropriate time to establish agreements and develop the transportation and processing infrastructure to support a cylinder collection system. A shorter timeline will lead to cost premiums and increase the risk that the new system will not be well-received by consumers.
  • How can citizens recycle used gas cylinders today?
    Communities across the country collect household hazardous waste, including gas cylinders, through drop-off locations or collection events. Visit or to find instructions for proper recycling and drop-off locations near you.
    Under the Connecticut law, Worthington Industries and other residential gas cylinder producers will develop a more robust program with qualified companies to pick up, transport and recycle cylinders from designated collection locations.
  • How does the bill define residential gas cylinders?
    The bill covers cylinders that are commonly used for camping, grilling, DIY projects and celebrations requiring portable propane and butane, hand-held torches, and portable helium. These are residential gas cylinders (0.5 lbs to 50 lbs) that contain helium, carbon dioxide or flammable materials.
    The law does not cover pressurized cylinders supplied to industrial, commercial, and institutional consumers and pressurized cylinders that contain oxygen, refrigerants, acetylene, hydrogen, ethylene and foam adhesives. Cylinders for industrial and commercial uses are managed through business-to-business relationships through which containers are collected, refilled and/or properly managed at end-of-life. Fire extinguishers are also excluded.
  • What was the role of Worthington Industries in development of the bill?
    Initially, we raised concerns about an earlier version of the bill that did not incorporate industry best practices. Among other concerns, Connecticut House Bill 6386 included many prescriptive requirements that prevent producers of residential gas cylinders from delivering a system that is convenient for consumers and more operationally efficient. These requirements would have also prevented producers from innovating to increase consumer participation, capture rates and recycling performance. It also mandated unrealistic timelines and language that would have made the bill more difficult to implement and enforce.
    To arrive at an optimal solution, we worked closely with Connecticut legislators, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority. Connecticut State Senate Ranking Member of the Environment Committee Craig Minor (R-Litchfield) and State Representative and Environment Committee Chair Joseph P. Gresko (D-Stratford) played a particularly important role in supporting the bill.
    For five months in 2021, Worthington Industries solicited input from a wide range of stakeholders throughout Connecticut to understand the current management of discarded residential gas cylinders and seek feedback on a potential approach.

    Based on this collaborative approach, we delivered a comprehensive report and recommendation to the Joint Standing Environment Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly on January 17, 2022. The committee unanimously approved the bill on March 4, the House passed the bill on April 13 and the Senate passed it on May 2. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill into law on May 10, 2022.
  • What stakeholders were involved?

    Through our five-month outreach program, Worthington Industries gathered insights and feedback from:

    • Local governments
    • Retailers that sell refillable and non-refillable cylinders
    • Waste management service providers that collect and process gas cylinders
    • Waste-to-energy facilities
    • Propane distributors that operate propane exchange networks
    • State parks and private campgrounds that receive cylinders from visitors
    • State government
  • How was the research conducted?

    To better understand the current practices for collection and management of discarded residential gas cylinders, the following tasks were undertaken in Connecticut:

    • Surveys were sent to municipal government, regional household hazardous waste coordinators, and municipal transfer facility operators
    • Interviews were conducted with major retailers, propane gas distributors, waste management service providers, colleges, and private campgrounds
    • Information was gathered from DEEP related to pressurized cylinder management in state parks, municipalities, and other sites
  • Is the approach in PA 22-27 based on best practices from other areas?
    One of the best practice examples we considered has been in place for several years in Ontario, Canada. Among many results of the Ontario program, one that particularly appealed to all of us was the opportunity for continuous improvement to increase customer participation, capture rates and recycling performance. This proven formula includes maintaining a focus on outcomes, ensuring a level playing field for producers and similar products, providing for proper oversight and enforcement, and establishing an achievable timeline to ensure a successful implementation.
  • Does the bill provide a model for other states?
    Yes. As we look forward to getting started in Connecticut, we are already working to replicate this collaborative and innovative approach. Work is underway to collaborate with California legislators on similar producer responsibility legislation to collect and manage gas cylinders. Worthington Industries has expressed significant concerns with a current California proposal to ban small format non-refillable propane cylinders that has the potential to lead to higher consumer costs and worse environmental outcomes. Our hope is California will embrace a similar approach to Connecticut by working closely with industry on a solution that will ensure better environmental outcomes.
  • How will we know if it’s working?

    Initial performance targets will be established and reassessed after the first year. Annual reporting will include:

    • Number of collection locations by type (municipal, campground, park, retail) and number of special events in each municipality
    • Number of refillable and non-refillable cylinders collected
    • Number of refillable cylinders returned to the exchange system and number sent to scrap metal recyclers
    • Tons of non-refillable cylinders sent to scrap metal recyclers