How to Dispose of Kerosene

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.

old kerosene lantern hanging on the yellow wooden wall
credit: alan64/iStock/Getty Images
You may have old lanterns filled with kerosene in your shed.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Kathy Adams

Kathy Adams

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.