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The thought of simply chucking your lighter into the bin when it’s nearly out of fluid is almost second nature. You no longer need an almost empty lighter, so it’s garbage, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, you do have to make sure that lighters are disposed of properly, otherwise there can be major consequences. We’re going to take you through how to properly dispose of lighters, so you can make sure you’re doing your part for the environment.

Can You Recycle Lighters?

While throwing a mostly used lighter into the trash isn’t an option, recycling one isn’t either. Lighters are made from materials that are not typical of most of our recycled products, therefore cannot be thrown in the same blue recycling bin.

World famous lighter brand BIC expands on why you should not recycle used lighters on their website:

“BIC strongly encourages consumers to use the lighter until the all the fuel is gone before disposal. Dispose of empty BIC® Lighters in your trash.  For quality and safety reasons, a lighter is composed of several different metals and plastics which are difficult to separate for recycling.”

Why Can Lighter Fluid Not Be Thrown in the Trash?

Lighter fluid is the main reason behind why a lighter cannot be thrown in the trash as is. While it may be acceptable to throw a perfectly empty lighter in the trash can, this does not apply to a lighter that still has fluid left behind.

Marc Lallanilla of The Spruce goes into further detail about why hazardous materials such as lighter fluid cannot be thrown in your trash bin:

“Do not toss hazardous materials in the regular trash. These hazardous items cannot be thrown in garbage receptacles or down the drain—it will end up in a river or in groundwater somewhere else. And if you live with a septic tank, those toxic chemicals can kill the organisms in your tank that process your septic waste. Even if the hazardous materials end up in a landfill, it can leech out and get into the drinking water supply.”

What Do I Do with My Used Lighter?

So, what do you do with a lighter that still contains lighter fluid? After all, the fluid itself cannot be tossed in the trash, whether or not the empty lighter itself can. There is a 3-step procedure to dispose of your lighter, ensuring that you’ve covered every angle.

A.J. Hawkins of HomeSteady gives you the run down on your options for disposal:


If you are still unsure about where you should be disposing of your lighter fluid and/or used lighters, we can help. GREENBAGPICKUP.COM will not only pick up all dumpster bags, but make sure that everything inside of them is responsibly disposed of.

We know and understand your community’s regulations and will work with them in order to make sure we are recycling your no longer needed items in the most eco-friendly way possible. Check out what we’re all about here.

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