Yellowstone debuts propane cylinder recycling program

June 16, 2016 By    
Bernzomatic, a Worthington Industries company, partnered with Yellowstone Park Foundation for a recycling program

Bernzomatic’s cylinder reclaim vehicle helps national parks to clean up improperly disposed propane cylinders. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone Park Foundation.

The Yellowstone Park Foundation and Bernzomatic launched a camping fuel-cylinder recycling program for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

According to the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the program aims to solve the environmental issues of improperly disposed propane cylinders in the park. Through the program, Bernzomatic, a Worthington Industries brand, invested resources to overhaul Yellowstone’s existing cylinder reclaim vehicle. In a company statement, Karen Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, says the park’s original infrastructure could not keep up with the number of cylinders that needed to be recycled.

Bernzomatic developed a cylinder reclaim vehicle to remove residual propane from discarded fuel cylinders and process them for recycling.

“This partnership is a natural extension of our Bernzomatic CylinderSafe program, the first and only public education program on non-refillable fuel cylinder safety,” says Mike Verne, general manager of consumer products for Worthington Industries, in a company statement. “Through this initiative with Yellowstone, we want to make it as simple as possible for park visitors to access important cylinder safety and disposal information and reduce waste in the parks.”

Verne adds that the machine removes propane from cylinders in one minute, while the park’s old vehicle required more than 30 minutes for one cylinder. Additionally, the new machine only requires one person to operate it, and it is built on a trailer to allow the park to recycle scrap metal from the cylinders while storing any remaining propane for use in the park on its mowers and forklifts.

Yellowstone and Bernzomatic are also renovating the park’s propane recycling bin infrastructure by making the bins more identifiable and uniform in color. According to the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the recycling bins will have updated signage, which clearly communicates the type of cylinders that are acceptable to discard in the bins.

In addition, both organizations are working to educate park visitors about cylinder recycling by sharing program information on their websites and social media channels across park lodges, visitor centers and local convenience stores.

Bernzomatic produces various products, including handheld blowtorches, fuel cylinders, butane lighters and project accessories.

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