How To Dispose Of Aerosol Cans

Hey there, aerosol can users! You may be wondering, “What’s the deal with disposing of these cans? Can I just chuck them in the trash?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Aerosol cans are considered hazardous waste and need to be disposed of properly.

According to the EPA, aerosol cans are widely used to dispense a variety of products, including paints, solvents, pesticides, personal care items, and food. The Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) reported that, in the United States alone, approximately 3.75 billion aerosol cans were filled in 2016 for both household and commercial use. Moreover, aerosol cans can make up nearly 40 percent of toxic waste in large retail establishments.

To properly dispose of aerosol cans, first, check with your the local government facility for specific instructions. Generally, you’ll need to empty the can completely, remove the plastic cap, and puncture the can to release any remaining pressure. Then, recycle the can and cap separately. And just like that, you’re a pro at aerosol can disposal!

Can Aerosol Go In The Bin? 

You should consider whether an aerosol can is empty before disposing of it. If the can is completely vacant, it can be safely disposed of in the regular trash bin. However, if the can still contains some product, it’s considered risky disposable and should not be thrown in the bin.

To dispose of a partially full aerosol can, the contents must first be used up or transferred to a different container. Once the can is completely unfilled, it should be punctured to release any remaining pressure and then recycled. It’s also wise to remove the plastic cap before recycling, as it’s usually not made of the same material as the can itself.

How to Empty an Aerosol Can?

To vacant an aerosol can, you can simply use up all the contents by spraying it until it’s completely empty. If there’s still some product left, you can try using it up by holding the can upside down and spraying until no more product comes out.

Alternatively, if you need to dispose of the can and there’s still some product left, you can use a plastic bag or box to collect any potential leaks or spills. Then, you can either spray the remaining contents into a disposable container, like a cardboard box or bag, or take it to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

You should never puncture or crush an aerosol can that still contains contents, as this can cause an explosion or fire.

How to Dispose of an Empty Aerosol Can?

Dispose Of Aerosol Cans
  • Ensure that the aerosol can is completely vacant by spraying it until there is no pressure left inside.
  • Remove the plastic cap from the aerosol can.
  • Puncture the can to release any remaining pressure.
  • Separate the can and cap, as they are typically made of different materials.
  • Recycle the can and cap separately, according to local recycling requirements.
  • Check with your local waste management facility for specific instructions on how to dispose of aerosol cans properly.
  • Do not throw aerosol cans in the trash, as they are considered toxic disposable and can potentially explode and harm the environment.
  • Properly dispose of your empty aerosol cans to help protect the planet and keep yourself and your community safe.

How to Dispose of Aerosol Cans with Dangerous Contents?

Aerosol cans that contain dangerous contents should be properly disposed of to prevent any potential harm to the environment or people. Here are the steps:

  • Ensure the can is vacant before disposing of it. If there is still product in the can, it is essential to wash the can out according to the directions on the label.
  • Place the can in a sealed plastic bag and make sure it is securely sealed.
  • Check with your local government or municipality to find out the most suitable way to dispose of the can. For instance a disposal option like the king county Hazardous waste Management Program for small businesses. In addition, many areas have specific rules and regulations for how aerosol cans should be disposed of.
  • If you are unable to find out local rules and regulations, it is prudent to take the can to a hazardous waste collection facility. These facilities are set up to safely dispose of aerosol cans and other risky materials.
  • Make sure to follow any additional instructions provided by the dangerous disposables collection facility.

By following these steps, you can help guarantee that aerosol cans with harmful contents are disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.

Eco-friendly Alternatives to Aerosol Cans

Eco-friendly alternatives to aerosol cans include reusable spray bottles, pump dispensers, and powder aerosol alternatives:

Reusable spray bottles:

Reusable spray bottles are an excellent alternative option for eco-friendly aerosol cans. These bottles are made from glass, aluminium, stainless steel, or plastic and can be reused hundreds of times. Liquid solutions are usually pumped into them and then sprayed with a pump. These bottles are often designed to be durable and have a wide range of applications from cleaning to gardening.

Pump Dispensers:

Another eco-friendly alternative to aerosol cans is pump dispensers. These dispensers are typically made from glass, aluminium, or plastic and can be used to dispense a variety of products, including cosmetics, lotions, and cleaning products. In many cases, they are designed with a pressurized system, which allows them to be applied efficiently and evenly.

Powder Aerosol Alternatives:

Powder aerosol alternatives are also a viable eco-friendly option. These products are typically composed of a combination of ingredients and are dispensed in powder form. In addition to cleaning surfaces and protecting them from corrosion, they are often used as an alternative to aerosol foam.


After careful consideration, it is recommended that aerosol cans should be disposed of properly in order to protect the environment and reduce the risk of hazardous waste. Aerosol cans should never be burned, as they release harmful toxins into the atmosphere. 

You should also avoid disposing of aerosol cans in regular trash cans, as this can lead to the release of risky chemicals into the environment. Instead, aerosol cans should be taken to a toxic waste facility, or a local recycling centre that accepts aerosol cans. It is also recommended that consumers check with their local authorities for any additional rules and regulations regarding the disposal of aerosol cans. 

By disposing of aerosol cans properly, you can help to protect the environment and reduce the risk of accidental exposure to dangerous chemicals.

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