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Household Hazardous Waste
Automotive Products - Gasoline


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Every time we refuel our cars, our lawn mowers, our chainsaws, or our generators, we use gasoline. Gasoline, which is a refined petroleum product, is made from crude oil and artificial additives.
Gasoline is used as a fuel source in internal combustion engines. The gasoline is
pumped through the fuel lines to the injectors. The injectors spray a mist of gasoline into the valves. The spark plugs send a charge that ignites the fuel inside the valves. The explosion pushes the pistons inside the valves; these are connected to metal arms, which move up and down producing movement. This movement is transferred through the drive train to power your vehicle. The explosion produces gases which move through the manifold to the catalytic converter and muffler, and finally out the tailpipe.


Gasoline is probably the most hazardous product used and stored around the house. Gasoline is volatile, and quickly turns into vapor at room temperature. This vapor is very flammable and extremely ignitable; a small spark from across the room can ignite gasoline vapors. Gasoline presents a very serious fire hazard when in use and when it is stored.

Gasoline is toxic to humans and animals because it contains hydrocarbons such as benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen that can be inhaled in gasoline vapors.
The emissions from gasoline engines are a major source of air pollutants. The pollutants include Carbon monoxide (CO), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Nitrous oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). These can contribute to acid rain and global warming. Motor vehicles are the largest source of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants in Vermont.

Storage/ Disposal:


  • Store gasoline in an airtight container that is approved for gasoline storage (usually red metal or plastic containers)
  • Store gasoline on the bottom shelf or on the floor to avoid the danger of it falling and spilling
  • Store in a cool dry place, that is away from sparks and open flame
  • Open gasoline containers outdoors, never indoors
  • Donate leftover fuel to someone that may be able to use it
  • Remix old gasoline with fresh gasoline and use
  • Bring gasoline to a local household hazardous waste collection event or facility

Where to take HHW:


Towns and solid waste districts hold hazardous waste collection events every year, two per year at minimum (spring and fall) and many common household hazardous wastes can be disposed of at these events. For more information and event scheduling, contact your solid waste district. Find contact information on the solid waste district contact list page. (Note: If you live in a village, fire district, etc., please select the town your village, fire district, etc. is in from the list. If your town is not a member of a district, contact information for your town clerk is provided.) 

Solid Waste Management Districts contact list





Last updated:
VT DEC Waste Management & Prevention Division 1 National Life Drive - Davis 1  Montpelier, VT  05620-3704  Tele: 802-828-1138  Fax: 802-828-1011

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