The question is, are aerosol cans recyclable?
This is what we shall be looking into today. We’ll explore the possibility of reclaiming this can and where you can carry out such an operation.
We’ll also talk about the perks and challenges of recycling these cans.
Let’s begin right away.
Can Aerosol Cans Be Recyclable?
What is an aerosol can?
It’s a container that’s made of aluminum or steel. You can store various items, including food products, cleaning liquids, and medication.
With over three billion aerosol cans used for commercial and industrial purposes, there is a significant need for recycling them. These items can be dangerous when mishandled.
Additionally, recycling the metallic portion of these cans will reduce the over-dependence on virgin materials.
Is it Possible to Recycle an Empty Aerosol Can?
Oh yes! Remember, these cans are made up of aluminum and steel. About sixty percent is composed of steel, while forty percent is aluminum.
These materials are infinitely recyclable.
However, special care needs to be given when reclaiming these items. Why? Because they contain liquids that are highly volatile and explosive.
Before you send your aerosol cans for recycling, empty the liquid content. They can be a massive disaster for reprocessing industries.
You can also look into some local programs in your area that accepts these cans for recycling or proper disposal.
Recyclable Parts of Aerosol Cans
Other components can also be reclaimed from the steel and aluminum portion of aerosol cans. We refer to active ingredients, solvents, fuels, and valves.
These items are to be kept in a separate container for appropriate recycling.
Preparing Your Aerosol Cans for Recycling
It’s essential to properly prepare your cans when sending them to a reprocessing facility. That way, you can ensure a safe and smooth reclaiming process.
Now, to prepare your cans for recycling, you’ll need to get them emptied.
Most reclaiming programs and facilities will not accept cans with products inside. Next, you remove the plastic cap that’s attached to the cans. Those lids need to be recycled separately.
When preparing your cans for recycling, there’re certain things you should and shouldn’t do.
First, you shouldn’t puncture or open the cans when cleaning or emptying the products because these cans are highly pressurized and can explode violently.
This can cause injuries and fire disasters.
Procedure for Recycling Aerosol Cans
After preparing these cans for recycling, you forward them to a reputable reprocessing center.
These facilities have special equipment they use to puncture these cans. After that, they use a magnetic component to separate steel cans from aluminum.
Once the sorting is completed, the cans will get crushed, balled, and packed. After squeezing the cans into balls, they’ll be forwarded to the appropriate quarters.
There, they’ll be turned into new products.
Where to Reclaim Empty Aerosol Cans
Several options are available if you’re looking for places to reclaim your empty cans. Since these items are made of steel and aluminum, you can take them to scrap metal recycling recyclers.
These facilities specialize in reprocessing metallic objects, including aerosol cans. However, you must know that not all scrap metal recyclers accept these items for reclaiming.
Curbside programs are places you can also visit for your reclaiming needs. Most of them designate their bins in various communities across the country.
Depending on where you live, you can toss your empty aerosol cans in one of their bins. But before you do that, ensure the programs near accept these cans.
Furthermore, hazardous waste programs, U.S. state environmental agencies, and HHW accept empty aerosol cans.
Some offer in-depth guidelines and comprehensive information regarding the reclaiming and disposal of this waste. Research these recyclers via the EPA website to get in touch with them.
Is It Bad to Dump Aerosol Cans in Bins?
It’s normal to think or toss these cans in bins for disposal. But it’s not proper to dump these items in the household or community trash cans.
When they’re not empty, as we’ve mentioned earlier, they’re hazardous substances and can explode when not taken care of.
If you must toss empty aerosol cans in bins, ensure they’re truly empty. Moreover, as highlighted above, you shouldn’t puncture or try to open them.
Other Options for Recycling Aerosol Cans
If you want to avoid recycling, other options for aerosol can disposal are available. You can adopt the concept of reduce and reuse. Here, you’ll turn these cans into reusable products.
For instance, you can use cans as fuel where available. You can also use the cans for packaging your natural cleaners like vinegar for order removal.
Moreover, you can use the cans as pump-spray containers or refillable spray bottles. Some people do use it for packaging their air fresheners.
We need to exhaust the opportunities for reusing aerosol cans. You can check with a local community or school group to see if they have use for them.
Why You Should Recycle Empty Aerosol Cans
There’re many reasons why you should reclaim your empty cans. First off, it helps reuse resources that have already been extracted from the earth.
Secondly, the reclaiming process saves energy and resources to create new cans. It can also help reduce carbon emissions and pollution from removing raw materials.
Furthermore, recycling aerosol cans enhances the safety and health of waste management workers. Remember, we mentioned that these items could quickly explode while crushing.
This can lead cause damage to expensive machinery and the workers as well.
You Can Sell Your Empty Aerosol Cans
Apart from recycling and reducing these cans, you can sell them and make extra cash.
We call it an economical way to prevent these items from ending in landfills. You need to find out the exact amount of scrap aerosol cans. That’s because several factors determine the price.
Among these factors are geographical location, the current price of scrap metal, whom you’re selling to, the number of cans, and more.
You’ll need to research more and find the exact amount these scraps will cost near you.
It’s good to think of reclaiming your empty aerosol cans. As you see above, you’ll promote the environment while putting some bucks in your pocket.
However, you must know that reclaiming these wastes has its cons. One is that it contains toxic substances that harm the surrounding and reprocessing equipment.