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Aerosol Can Disposal: 3 Ways To Do It Properly

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spray cans

spray cans

We use aerosol cans in our everyday lives without even noticing it; whipped cream, spray paint, hairspray, and insect repellent are just some of the liquids and gasses stored in one. You might think you don’t have to be too careful when disposing of them, but you really should be. 

On top of the possible toxic material stored in the aerosol can, there’s also the gaseous propellant pressurizing the bottle, which can result in hazardous situations if discarded improperly. In fact, they could burst in certain circumstances, resulting in injuries and industrial accidents. We will go over some ways to safely dispose of aerosol cans once you're finished using them.

Take it to a hazardous-chemicals collection site

Since aerosol cans are full of both the propellant and the main ingredient stored inside, they are dangerous for the environment. No matter if your pressurized can consist of whipped cream or bug spray, it would be ideal if you can empty it completely, especially if the can holds a highly flammable substance. This is due to the fact that the chemicals that are inside the bottle can cause damage if disposed of in an unsafe way. You will know when the can is fully empty when it stops making the hissing sound when you press on it. 

If you can't empty the can for any reason or aren't positive it's empty, take it to a hazardous chemical collection center instead of throwing it with the regular garbage. There, they will know how to perform proper disposal of aerosol cans. This process usually includes depressurizing the can first and removing the propellant in a safe way. There are no restrictions forcing you to do this because residential waste is legally exempt from the classification of hazardous waste. This may be the safest way to get rid of this type of can.



This option is great for the consumers who can empty their aerosol cans all the way through. Almost every recycling company will accept aerosol cans that are fully empty. Usually what they do is place the cans in a metal scrap processor and reuse the scrapped metal for future purposes. This way, the chemicals that were inside are fully used up and the metal bottle is safely on its way to being reused into many different products.

Another great thing you can do, if you have aerosol cans that are still full to some extent, is to donate them to someone who needs them. You can do this if you're sure that you will not need its contents, you can also store them safely in your house for future use. This way you'll make sure to have the material in your home for further use or donate it to someone who will empty it fully. Not only you will do a good deed for the environment but you will also help someone who's in need save money on buying the product in the first place. 

spray can

spray can

Discard the can into the trash

This option isn't the greatest one, but if you have no other choice or option, you can. But, there are some things you should know before throwing your aerosol cans in the bin. Always make sure your aerosol can is fully empty before throwing it. The propellant inside the can must be fully expelled otherwise it can cause some damage during the garbage disposal process. Not only could someone get hurt from the can pressure, but it can cause great damage to the environment. Spray the can until no more product comes through and the can stops hissing. 

Always consider the first two options first if you want to dispose of your aerosol cans. Don't take this option unless you absolutely have no other choice. And in the end, if you choose this option, make sure that your can is a hundred percent empty. Especially if your aerosol can consists of highly flammable materials. Also, if you discard your aerosol cans using this method more frequently, consider switching to products that aren't packed in this type of can.


Final thoughts

Aerosol cans can be tricky when the time comes to dispose of them. The best thing to do is to stay informed on the different ways of disposal and their good and bad sides. Always make sure to take the safest route when throwing away pressurized aerosol cans.

Make sure to inform everyone that doesn't know how to properly get rid of this type of propellant-filled canisters. Taking care of our environment means taking care of ourselves, and by informing others you can save someone from hurting themselves in the future.







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