How To Dispose Of Old Grills

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Updated June 27, 2022

Any longtime grill owner should know how to dispose of old grills, especially when you’re upgrading your outdoor kitchen. Even the best grills can be dangerous for sanitation and junkyard workers to handle if not properly dismantled, but some parts of basically any grill type will be recyclable and need to be dealt with separately.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Old grills can be a danger for garbage collectors and junkyard workers and should not be simply placed on the curb for pickup or left at the local dump.
  • You should try to recycle any parts of your grill that are recyclable. You can do this either by separating them from the rest of your garbage for curbside pickup and notifying your collection company or by taking them to a recycling center yourself.
  • If you’re getting rid of a propane grill, the propane tank itself must be removed from the rest of the grill and given to a recycling center that takes them.

There are some basic guidelines you should follow that will apply to all grill types and a few that are specific to a type. We’ll go over the most common of those. While you’re learning about grill disposal, you may want to look into how to clean grills on a BBQ. And if you’ve never barbecued before, check out our article on how to barbecue for a few tips.

Insider Tip

Your garbage collection service will sometimes take various parts that are usually not permitted for curbside disposal. Call them before you place anything out for pickup.

What To Do With Old Grills

STEP 1

Clean your grill grate, cooking surface, ash pan, and if your grill has one, the grease pan, so that you’re not disposing of anything with excess ash, grease, or carbon. A grill brush or bristle brush and a cleaning rag with some warm water will do the job sufficiently for these purposes.

STEP 2

If you have a propane grill, your first step is to remove the propane tank from the rest of the grill. This should just be a matter of taking it off just as you would refill or replace it. Empty propane tanks can still be highly flammable and should not go into the regular garbage. Instead, schedule a pickup from a local recycling center that takes them, or bring it to a junkyard that handles them.

STEP 3

Using your screwdriver where necessary, dismantle the grill and separate the parts into different piles: one for metal and one for plastic parts. This will make it easier to estimate their worth when you scrap them.

STEP 4

Separate the metal parts further by metal type. The visible surfaces of most grills, especially gas grills, will be stainless steel, while knobs and regulators are generally brass. Grill chambers are usually cast pot metal, zinc, or aluminum. Any other part will probably be either a mixed steel or tin alloy.

STEP 5

Any parts you don’t scrap should be recycled. If you have curbside recycling, you can leave those parts with your garbage, though separated. Otherwise, you’ll have to take them to a recycling center yourself. If there isn’t one locally available, your last option is to contact your garbage collection company and notify them that you’ll be leaving them potentially hazardous materials.

STEP 6

Take all of the scrappable pieces to your local scrap metal center or to a recycling center that buys scrap metal.

Warning

The scrap metal from a grill generally won’t be worth more than $10, and more likely around $5. It may not be worth your trouble to bring it to a scrapper unless it’s part of a bigger lot you’ve accumulated.

F.A.Q.S

What is acceptable as curbside scrap metal?

If you don’t want to bother with trying to sell the large scrap metal parts from your grill, you can contact your garbage collection service and let them know you’ll be disposing of scrap metal. To qualify for scrap metal collection, items must be larger than a trash bag or trash can, but no longer than 8 feet, which shouldn’t be an issue if it’s from a grill.


How much can you make scrapping a grill?

If you’ve not scrapped metal before, you may think that since grills are made mostly of metal, the metal parts from one may demand a pretty good price. The reality is that the average grill of any variety brings an average of around $5 total, and usually not more than $10. Whether that’s worth the effort for you or not is your call.


What do I do with an old propane tank?

Even an empty propane tank can be extremely flammable and therefore dangerous for garbage collectors to handle and transport. Propane tanks need to be either brought to a local recycling center that takes them or arranged for pickup by a collection service.


STAT: A common rule of thumb dictates that scrap metal is any large item that’s at least 51% metal. (source)

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