How to Dispose of an Aerosol Can

The proper way to dispose of an aerosol bottle depends on its condition, whether it is empty or not. Through recycling and garbage collection programs, you can dispose of empty cans easily. Aerosol cans that are still full or half full cannot be safely disposed of using this method. So you have to be careful. Double-check that the can is empty before you throw it away.

1. Throwing Empty Cans

1. Make sure the can is empty.

Before throwing it away, take some time to make sure that your aerosol can is completely empty. If the nozzles are not clogged and nothing is leaking, the can is indeed empty and can be disposed of safely.

1. If you’re not sure whether the can is empty or not, try shaking it. If the can is empty, no liquid will move inside.
2. Aerosol cans that are still filled should be treated differently. Disposing of an aerosol can that is half full can be dangerous.

2. Avoid changing cans.

Do not alter the aerosol can in any way when you dispose of it. Leave the can as is, no matter what method you use to dispose of it.

1. Aerosol cans are pressurized, which explode when tampered with. Never puncture the aerosol or expose it to extreme heat. Do not try to remove the spray nozzle from the can even if it is usually made of plastic.
2. If the can lid is made of plastic, you can set it aside for recycling. (The lids are likely to be recyclable too.)

3. Check the contents of the can.

Not all aerosol cans are created equal. Some cans contain hazardous materials so you shouldn’t throw them in the regular trash or for recycling. Check the can to see if it contains hazardous waste.

1. If the can provides specific instructions for disposing of it, follow the instructions provided. In some cases, you may have to take the can to a hazardous waste disposal center.
2. If you’re not sure whether the can is recyclable or not, contact your local recycling center and tell them what’s in the can.

4. Check the recycling program in your area.

Each region has a different recycling policy. So it’s possible that you may or may not recycle aerosol cans in your area. Check the regulations set by your local government on the internet, or contact them to ask if there is a service for recycling aerosol cans.

1. If your area does not provide single stream recycling (all items combined), collect aerosol cans with other recyclable metal waste.
2. If you don’t have an aerosol can recycling service in your area, you can throw it in the regular trash (as long as it’s empty and doesn’t contain hazardous materials).

5. Sell ​​your aerosol can.

Many aerosol cans are made of aluminum or steel so you can sell them to scrap metal collectors. Contact scrap metal collectors first to see if they accept aerosol cans.

1. If you only have a few cans, this may not be worth the time you have to spend carrying them. However, if you have a lot of cans, this can actually make quite a bit of money.
2. When you visit a scrap metal dealer, you can also sell other items, such as aluminum soda cans. This is especially useful in areas where there are no can holders. (If your area has a shelter, it’s a good idea to take one there.)

2. Discarding Cans That Are Still Full or Half Full

1. Do not throw away aerosol cans that are not empty.

Throwing out a can of hairspray or cleaning product that is still filled may not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually very dangerous. Aerosol cans are pressurized so they can explode if exposed to high heat or pressure. This can happen while the can is still in the garbage truck and can injure people.

2. Attempt to use the product until the can is empty.

The easiest way to empty an aerosol can is to use it until it runs out, and toss it in the recycling bin or trash can.

1. If you no longer need it, donate the can to someone in need. For example, you can give a can of spray paint to a bicycle repairman or welder. Or maybe there are family members or friends who want to use the product.

3. Avoid forcibly emptying cans,

except by using them. When you take an unfinished aerosol can to a hazardous waste disposal site, the workers there may puncture the can to remove the contents for recycling. While this can be done by a trained professional using specialized tools, you shouldn’t do it yourself at home! Piercing the aerosol can cause an explosion. So, leave this to the experts.

4. Take aerosol cans with their contents to a hazardous waste collection point.

Do a search on local government websites to find collection points in your area. You may have to pay a small fee to use this safe aerosol can disposal facility, but it’s not a huge amount.

1. Some cities have held special events so that their citizens can bring their hazardous waste and dispose of it there for free or at a very low cost.
2. Some people run businesses that require products that are in aerosol cans. Maybe they are willing to accept your can.

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