Sustainable Propane Tank Exchange Emerges in California’s Central Valley

From Yosemite campsites to stadium tailgate parties, 1lb propane tanks are the popular way to fuel portable BBQs, camp stoves and lanterns.
They are so popular, it’s estimated that more than 40 million the dark green tanks are sold every year. The problem with those little tanks is the cost of cleaning up the hazardous waste they leave behind.

Enter the Little Kamper, a 1lb propane tank exchange, which is a sustainable alternative to disposable tanks. Using a DOT-certified refillable 1lb tank, the Little Kamper program puts tanks on participating retailer shelves and allows customers to buy, use and exchange their empty tanks for prefilled replacements.

For customers who want eco-friendly products, the Little Kamper is zero-waste, and for retailers who want repeat customers, the exchange model brings customers back for more.
Little Kamper’s Josh Simpson said, “We know that eco-friendly consumers want a better mousetrap and most retailers already understand the simplicity of tank exchange. Our Little Kamper fits in that space.”

The propane tank collection bins in the campgrounds at Yosemite National Park don’t exactly scream “hazardous waste” to the people who camp in the park. But many people who use 1lb tanks discard them with liquid propane still in them, which makes them hazardous waste.

Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council Doug Kobold said, “The communities that end up with these tanks in their waste stream don’t have a specified funding source to cover the cost of their proper recycling.”

The result is that local taxpayers and ratepayers get stuck with the bill.

The Little Kamper tank exchange is available in Yosemite National Park’s retail stores and a growing number of independent retail outlets in California. The company is expanding distribution and has inventory ready to supply new stores for the 2021 recreation season.

To find a retailer near you, or become a Little Kamper retailer, visit