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What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

We all want to keep items we use for our adventures out of landfills. We've heard from plenty of our members that snack wrappers are a hard item to dispose of. Thanks to a partnership with Subaru and TerraCycle, you can now recycle those wrappers at an REI store near you. As long as they're clean, individual, multi-pack, and family-size snack bags and wrappers, including chip, candy and granola wrappers, will be accepted.

What other hard-to-recycle outdoor items do you want the outdoor industry to recognize and help with? We're listening, so let us know in the comments below.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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11 Replies
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This is definitely an issue.  Since they are steel they should be easy to recycle but the fact that they are pressurized and may still contains some residual fuel is a problem.

There are some partial solutions...

For the butane mix "backpacking" canisters there is this...

https://www.rei.com/product/813638/jetboil-crunchit-recycling-tool

which helps if you want to recycle to the metal.   

It would be better if there was a light weight refillable butane mix canister that could be exchanged at all camping outlets.  That way partial canisters would not get wasted.  Butane mix fuel is not readily available in bulk as far as know.

There are now "refillable"  1lb propane "camping" canisters...

https://www.rei.com/product/113609/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-1-lb

which you can refill from a 20lb exchangeable propane tank...

https://www.rei.com/product/113711/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-with-refill-kit-1-lb

Again a cylinder exchange system would be a good since not everyone wants to have the gear or go to the trouble of refilling cans themselves.

Note that it is apparently "illegal" to refill the disposable canisters probably because the valves used have a very limited duty cycle and may leak on reuse.

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The Lindal valve of isobutane canisters was not designed for long-term use that refilling canisters would require. 
Releasing the pressure of a canister with a ‘crunch-it’ type tool and recycling are the best we can do.

I’d like to see any store that sells isobutane canisters accept empty canisters and recycle them. REI could lead the way.