Aerosol can disposal: What you can do

Aerosol spray cans are frequently used by us though some of us are not even aware of their potential as a recyclable material. Most of these cans are made of steel and aluminum— both of which can be recycled. As per reports, there are around 3 billion steel cans made in the United States and (as per estimates) if every user resolves to recycle these cans then there would be extra enough steel to manufacture about 400,000 automobiles.

Aerosol can disposal

Aerosol: A few facts

It is important to note that aerosol cans should not be disposed of arbitrarily on landfills, after use. Go through the post in a bid to learn more about proper aerosol can disposal.

Aerosols, in their truest essence are collections of small particles often found suspended in gas. Most recognizably, they are available in pressurized spray cans which contain products regularly used by us including hair spray, mousse, whipped cream and spray paint.

There are propellants packed under pressure which might as well cause the container to explode when they are exposed to the heat. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia opines, “due to the flammability [of aerosol cans], these gases can cause fires and explosions if they are sprayed or are released unintentionally due to puncture or damage to the can, or if the contents are exposed to an open flame, pilot light, spark or static electricity.” (Source: earth911.com)

So, it is not prudent to throw them off on empty landfills as they can end up hurting landfill workers. It is very important to ensure that the cans are totally empty before they are relegated to the bin. Please ensure that all the contents of the cans are drained out before they are dispensed. Keep on spraying the can unless and until it does not stop making a hissing sound. Approach your haulers and ask them if they will be accepting these cans for recycling or not.

You can just do away with the general hassles of Aerosol can disposal by adopting the measures mentioned below:

  • Instead of buying the usual spray paints, go for the eco friendly paints
  • Buy cleaning products in non aerosol versions
  • Refrain from buying pressurized hairspray cans— there are a number of non pressurized containers available in the market
  • When it comes to buying paint, make sure that you are purchasing only the quantity which is required for your home improvement or renovation project

Aerosol cans are treated as hazardous waste

Many of us know that aerosol cans are treated as hazardous waste by many states owing to the obvious presence of propellants. Aerosol spray cans were believed to emit the brominated and chlorinated chloroflurocarbons. Later on these CFCs were banned from aerosols. Airborne CFCs are not viewed “as an issue” anymore. However, these cans still have hazardous traits which make it a bit difficult for us to recycle them.

Make sure that you are acquainting yourself with these facts before dispensing them to the bin. Weigh the options you have!

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