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:
- Completely empty the product so the can is not pressurized
- Remove and discard the lid
- Place the empty aerosol can in the recycling cart with the blue lid
Along with tin cans, plastic bottles, newspapers and much more, Hood River Garbage 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.
Recycling empty aerosol cans is a good way to keep useable steel and aluminum out of the landfill.