Recycling Used Stove Canisters: Now Easier with the JetBoil CrunchIt

Canister stoves are great. Safe, easy to use, lightweight, and compact with excellent flame adjustment to boot. Canister stoves are horrible. You have to buy expensive metal gas canisters—and then figure out how to recycle them or add their empty metal carcasses to the country's landfills.

The problem is two-fold. First, in order to recycle a spent fuel canister it must be clearly punctured for safety's sake. This assures that it's completely empty and de-pressurized for the crushing/recycling process. Until now, I used to simply puncture my old canisters with a hammer and nail (driving the nail through a thick cloth laid over the canister to mitigate any potential sparks risk).

Now a new product, the Jetboil CrunchIt Butane Canister Tool, makes this process more straightforward. It's like a modified can opener. Screw it on to the valve threads and then push down on it to puncture the canister. Here's a quick overview video showing how it works. Though not explicitly stated anywhere, it looks like the CrunchIt will work on any screw valve canister (these include MSR, Primus, and SnowPeak, but not GAZ). The CrunchIt (1 ounce, $7) will start hitting store shelves next month; REI has it exclusively for the rest of October.

The CrunchIt may help the recycling process, but it won't do anything about the most important aspect of canister recycling: Your local recycling center must accept spent fuel canisters. This varies widely depending on location. In some places, you can leave your punctured cans in the recycling bins for pick-up. In others, you must bring it to a scrap metal recycling center. In still others, you're completely out of luck—no canisters (punctured or not) will be accepted. Contact your local recycling center to determine your situation.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.