How To Get Rid of a Gas Grill

Updated: Apr. 26, 2023

Time to retire your old gas grill? Here's how to safely and responsibly get rid of your grill so you can start shopping for a new one.

Maybe your old gas grill is at the end of its lifespan, or maybe you’ve upgraded to a newer model and now have two functional grills. Either way, disposing of the old one can be a pain. Old grills tend to be grease-lined and rickety, and old propane tanks can’t simply be chucked in the trash.

Here are several options for safe, responsible gas grill disposal— along with some general pitfalls to watch out for.

Selling an Old Gas Grill

If your old grill is still functional, you may be able to sell it. Always be clear that the grill is sold “as-is”, or you may need to deal with someone demanding a refund or wanting an explanation.

Old propane tanks can almost always be sold because they can be used to trade in for new tanks. However, grills themselves aren’t always so easy to sell. The accumulated layers of grease and dirt (plus the general wear and tear of being stored outside) mean that the demand for used grills isn’t very high. That’s why many people end up giving their grills away.

“Freecycling” an Old Gas Grill

Freecycling is an alternative disposal method for a functional grill, that will see your old grill placed in a new home. Online forums like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor allow owners to “freecycle” their old equipment. Initially, you post that you have an item to give away. Then someone responds that they’d like your item, and you set it outside for them to pick up. No haggling or extensive interactions are required. You may even be able to freecycle a grill that doesn’t work perfectly, as long as you’re upfront about it needing some DIY grill repairs.

Setting Out an Old Gas Grill for Scrap Metal Pickers

If your old grill is no longer usable but throwing it away feels wasteful, consider setting it out for a scrap metal picker to collect. Scrap metal collectors go by different names in different parts of the country. But whether you call them pickers, gleaners or something else, their basic approach is straightforward: They collect discarded metal and sell it to recycling centers.

Pickers often drive through neighborhoods early on trash collection days and will be quick to snap up metal set by the curb or near a communal dumpster. This is by far the easiest disposal method, and the pickers definitely appreciate it. Plus, it’s good to know all that metal won’t end up in a landfill.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the rest of the grill. Scrap metal gleaners operate on razor-thin profit margins, and they don’t get paid for plastic. This means that when they pull the metal and plastic apart, the plastic often goes straight into the trash.

Recycling an Old Gas Grill

The most environmentally friendly way to dispose of a gas grill is to recycle it yourself. Not every part of a grill is recyclable, and many parts may need to be broken down into components in order to be recycled.

The general rule of thumb is that if different components need to be separated, you can’t rely on the recycling company to do it for you. The control knobs and wheels, for example, are often black plastic and can be popped into the recycling. But if that plastic is lined with metal, you’ll either have to spend time prying them apart or drop them in the trash.

The metal on gas grills is typically stainless steel, steel or aluminum— all of which can be recycled. Any brass fittings on the gas valve can also be recycled. The sides and top of the grill box are metal, and can definitely be recycled. The bottom is metal as well, although it may be so grease-covered that a scrap dealer won’t take it. (Because the bottom usually cannot be separated, all you can really do is put it in the recycling and hope the recycler can use it.)

A plastic grill body and side shelves may or may not be recyclable. Check for a recycling symbol on their underside. Metal grill bodies and side shelves are almost always recyclable, so long as you disconnect them from the grill body. Remove any batteries, such as from a digital thermometer. Batteries may be recyclable or trash, depending on your recycling center’s policies.

The propane tank is metal, but scrapyards can’t accept them because any propane residue makes them a hazard. You’ll need to take your old propane tank to a retailer to exchange for a new tank or turn it in. Many gas stations and home improvement stores have tank exchanges, but if you give them an old tank for disposal, they should accept it.

Throwing Away an Old Gas Grill

If you have access to a large dumpster, you can tip the grill over the edge and it’s out of sight, out of mind. Don’t throw the propane tank away, though. As mentioned, residual propane is a hazard. Follow the recommendations above for what to do with propane tanks.