If you're unable to figure out what to do with the kerosene after visiting a local government website or asking a service station representative, call city hall or your trash collection agency. Either party should be able to provide you with information on the agency that handles household hazardous waste.
Do not mix kerosene with other household hazardous wastes or fuels, even if discarding them at the same time. Store kerosene away from heat sources and direct sunlight to avoid fire.
While it may be tempting to discard unwanted kerosene down the drain or in a sewer outside, doing so harms the environment. Many regions do not accept liquid or fuel-based waste for trash collection, either. Check with your local or regional hazardous waste collection facility about options for disposing of fuel oils; the specifics vary by region, so be sure to check with your agency for accepted disposal methods, dates and locations. Some regions designate specific dates for turning in household hazardous waste materials.
Visit a service station and ask an attendant if the station accepts unwanted kerosene for disposal. If they do not, ask if they know of others that may, or if they know of the approved collection method in your area. Service stations discard motor oil, brake fluid and other materials that require specific disposal procedures, so they may be aware of options for nearby residents as well.
Read your local government website's page regarding waste collection, and then look for options regarding household hazardous waste. Kerosene is considered a household hazardous waste. If no options are given, call the agency or regional department handling waste pickup; a representative will know the proper disposal method accepted in your locality.
Pour the unwanted kerosene into a fuel-approved clean container, clearly marked "kerosene," if it is not already in such a container. Do not reuse an old container that previously stored gasoline or any other substance, because a chemical reaction may occur.
Cart the kerosene to the approved disposal location during hours the facility is open to accept discarded materials. Ensure the kerosene container is stable while you transport it, so it does not spill in your vehicle.
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: Handling Gasoline, Kerosene, Diesel Oil and Heating Oil from Your Home
- Charlotte County, FL: How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste
- Delaware Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Materials Management: Managing and Disposing of Household Hazardous Waste
- Fairfax County, VA: Recycling Residential Materials
- Kerosene Wicks: Kerosene Fuel Questions
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.