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Recycling Empty Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans are fairly simple – the can is made of steel or aluminum and contains a product – like hair spray, shaving cream, or paint - to be dispensed.

The can is then pressurized with a propellant that, when released from the can, atomizes the product and produces a spray.

Aerosol cans are also fairly simple to recycle:

  1. Completely empty the product so the can is not pressurized
  2. Remove and discard the lid
  3. Place the empty aerosol can in the recycling container

Along with tin cans, bottles, newspapers and much more, Waste Connections of Tennessee in Memphis encourages customers to recycle aerosol cans. Done properly – meaning the can is drained of its content and is no longer under pressure – it’s safe and, at the same time, recycles valuable steel and aluminum.

Aerosol products have had an interesting history. The National Aerosol Association estimates that almost 4 billion aerosol units were produced in the United States alone in 2005. That wide spread popularity didn’t happen overnight. Even though aerosol technology was developed decades earlier, those steel and aluminum cans filled with product and propellant were widely used during World War II to dispense insecticide to keep the troops safe from insect born disease.

After the war, the commercial value of aerosol cans was quickly realized and, by the late 1950s, they became a common household item. Today consumers can and do find thousands of household products that are conveniently dispensed from an aerosol can.

Waste Connections of Tennessee in Memphis makes recycling easy – single stream recycling services are offered to most residential and commercial customers. Waste Connections also offers the added benefits of the Recyclebank program.  The Recyclebank program rewards participants for recycling and making choices that support a sustainable future. Since 2004, the program has grown to include more than 3 million members in 3,000 communities nationwide.

Take advantage of the recycling options at Waste Connections and get involved in the Recyclebank program to make recycling not only easy, but with added rewards.

Recycling aerosol cans is a good way to keep useable steel and aluminum out of the landfill. While recycling the pressurized containers takes a bit more thought than simply tossing a nearly-empty container in the single stream recycling, the recycled product is worth the extra effort.



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