Are Aerosol Cans Recyclable – Everything You Need To know

Many people have been asking are aerosol cans recyclable and what are the various ways to reduce waste. We already know that recycling is one of the best ways to reduce waste and help the environment.

And recycling aluminum cans is one of the easiest ways to do it, There are many benefits to recycling aluminum cans. Recycling a can takes less energy than making a new one from scratch.

When you recycle a ton of aluminum, you save up to 14,000-kilowatt hours (Kwh) of power. Recycling also reduces pollution and saves resources like water and air.

But when aluminum is highly recyclable, there’s always a question of whether aerosol cans are recyclable. Aerosol cans are made of aluminum, and that makes them recyclable.

But the cans always contain volatile organic compounds, solvent-based paints, and other chemicals. Recycling them requires more care as they can be hazardous if not handled properly.

So, aerosol cans are 100% recyclable, and this article is going to discuss it in detail below:

How To Recycle Aerosol Cans

In order to make aerosol cans recyclable there are a few extra steps to ensure the process is done safely and adequately so they can be processed at the recycling plant.

Here are some tips on how to recycle your aerosol cans:

Make Sure Its Empty

The first and most crucial step of recycling an aerosol can is ensuring it is completely empty. You don’t want any of the contents to end up in the recycling bin as it can be dangerous.

Once you are sure that the can is empty then you can rest assured that the recycling program will accept aerosol cans with some contents left in them.

Do Not Puncture The Can

One mistake that people make when recycling aerosol cans is puncturing them. This can release the contents of the can and make it dangerous for recycling workers and sometimes can also lead to explosions.

Remove The Cap

The next step is to remove the cap of the can as most aerosol cans always come with a removable cap.

You should remove it before recycling. The plastic cap can be removed, and it can also be recycled by the same recycling program or a different one.

Follow The Instructions On The Can

Not all aerosol cans are created equal, and they might have different instructions on recycling them.

Some of the cans are hazardous, while others are not so its is important to follow the instructions on the can before recycling it.

Contact Your Local Recycling Center

The best way to recycle your aerosol cans is to take them to a local recycling center, they will have the necessary facilities and equipment to recycle the cans safely.

Some facilities will have the equipment to be able to properly dispose of the hazardous materials in the cans. The best part about this method also includes you getting paid for recycling the cans.

So, it is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Check If The Recycle Center Takes Aerosol Cans

First, it is important to check with your local recycling center if they accept aerosol cans. Some centers might not have the facilities to recycle them properly.

And they might not be able to safely dispose of the hazardous materials in the cans.

Follow State Regulations On Hazardous Waste

Different states have different regulations when it comes to hazardous waste.

Make sure to follow the state regulations when recycling aerosol cans.

In some states, you are not allowed to recycle them at all.

If you operate between different states, you should cross-check the regulations of both states to see if there are any conflicting regulations.

Alternatively, you can check on the federal regulations on recycling hazardous waste.

Use The Right Equipment

The next step is to use the right equipment for recycling the cans. This includes using the right tools and machines.

If you are not sure about what type of equipment to use, then you can always check with your local recycling center.

They will be able to guide you on the kind of equipment that you need to use.

Be Aware Of The Contents Of The Aerosol Cans

You should conduct a hazardous waste determination to know the content of the aerosol cans before recycling them.

This is because some of the contents might be hazardous.

And you need to take the necessary precautions when handling them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are aerosol cans bad for the environment?

If aerosol cans are exposed carelessly to the environment, they can be dangerous as some contain hazardous materials.

But if they are disposed of or recycled correctly, they are not bad for the environment.

Can I recycle empty aerosol cans?

Yes, you can recycle empty aerosol cans.

But you need to follow the instructions on the can and contact your local recycling center for guidance.

Also, ensure that you consider all the safety and legal requirements.

Does my state have an aerosol can recycling program?

Most states have an aerosol can recycling program.

But the regulations might differ from state to state.

So, it is always best to check with your local recycling center or the state regulations first.


Recycling is one of the best ways to help the environment.

And recycling aluminum cans is one of the easiest ways to do it.

Aerosol cans are made of aluminum and are 100% recyclable.

However, recycling them requires you to take a few extra steps to ensure that it is done safely and correctly.

But by following the tips above, you can recycle your aerosol cans without problems.