Aerosol Can Disposal:

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  • Toxic Contents Disperse If Punctured
  • Dangerous to Environment
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Aerosol Can Recycling and Disposal

Paints, Bug Sprays, Solvents, Cleaners, Lubricants, Deodorizers…

The Need for Aerosol Can Recycling and Disposal

Each year, nearly 4 billion aerosol products are produced in North America for a variety of common uses like loosening a bicycle chain or shaving. Aerosols have been used for more than fifty years and continue to be increasingly popular with consumers because they are efficient and effective. The container is sealed and the on/off valve mechanism is airtight so the product stays fresh, won’t get contaminated, leak or spill.

There are at least three main motivations for consumers to recycle or properly dispose of their aerosol cans:

  • Highly recyclable – Most aerosol cans are made from steel or aluminum with an average of 25% recycled materials content. They are easily recycled as scrap metal when they are empty.
  • Protection to the environment – Whenever possible, recycling is always better than landfilling. Aerosols pose more threat to the environment than most aluminum and steel cans; they often contain hazardous, toxic or flammable materials.
  • It’s the law – California Code of Regulations, title 22, ch. 23 and Health and Safety Code section 25201.16 make it mandatory to dispose of “non-empty” aerosol cans as hazardous waste and to ensure “empty” aerosol cans are really empty before disposal.

How Does Aerosol Can Recycling and Disposal Work?

“Empty” Aerosol Cans can easily be recycled as scrap metal. Most metal recyclers want to see a puncture in the cans before they recycle them, so they can visually confirm they are empty. Empty aerosols can be recycled in co-mingled recycling programs, curbside recycling or they can be taken directly to a metals recycler.

“Non-empty Aerosol Cans have a couple different ways they can be disposed of. The generator of the non-empty aerosol cans may choose to acquire the proper safe and compliant puncturing and collection equipment to drain their own non-empty aerosol cans. After the aerosols have been emptied, they can be recycled, however the materials captured from the non-empty aerosol cans must ne managed as hazardous waste. You must notify the local CUPA (Certified Unified Program Agency) or authorized agency for managing the hazardous waste generator program in person or via certified mail if you intend to drain aerosol cans. No additional permits or authorization are required.

The other alternative for non-empty aerosol cans is to send them out with a hazardous or universal waste transporter for disposal (usually incineration) at a hazardous waste disposal facility. Individuals with household quantities can take their non-empty aerosols to a local household hazardous waste facility.

How Do We Manage Aerosol Cans for You?

Although you can easily recycle empty aerosol cans, the distinction must be made between the “empty” and the “non-empty” cans. Often an aerosol can may not function anymore, but the can still has contents. It is not uncommon to mistake a non-functioning for an empty can. Sometimes the propellant no longer works and the remaining contents, though minimal, cannot be removed. Our aerosol can management program addresses all these concerns.

We will provide the properly labeled equipment for the collection and storage of aerosol cans. Our service representatives will ensure each aerosol can is tested for contents and divided into the two categories of “non-empty” and “empty” aerosol cans. The inventoried aerosol cans are taken to our facility where they are logged in our database and accumulated for processing. “Empty” aerosol cans are punctured using an aerosol can puncturing system and recycled with our scrap metals. “Non-empty” aerosol cans are accumulated and disposed of as hazardous waste through incineration. One thing is for sure, the cost to properly manage aerosol cans is far less than even one aerosol can making it’s way into the trash at $25,000 to $100,000 per occurrence.

With nearly 20 years managing universal waste, let Modern Waste put their experience to work for you and make it simple to manage your aerosol can recycling and disposal program. You Make ONE Call or Click:

  • We will provide the equipment you need
  • We will train you on what you need to know
  • We will come to you to pick up or you can drop off
  • We will record what we receive from you in our database
  • We will shred, wipe, recycle or dispose of your waste
  • We will provide certificates and reports as needed

Contact us today to speak to a specialist that can help you custom make a program that best suits your organization’s needs. Call 916-249-4657 or click the orange “Get Started” button at the top of the screen to begin your journey to a simplified solution.

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