There is a valid reason why users are advised against dispensing their aerosol cans arbitrarily. The aerosol cans contain gas or liquid propellants which are packed under pressure. There is every chance of these propellants exploding when exposed to heat. This may end up hurting the landfill workers as well. So, when you are throwing off a half filled aerosol can in an empty landfill, you are inadvertently becoming responsible for their harm.


Proper Aerosol can disposal is an important part of environment sustainability. Some of the products used in our daily lives (like paint, cream, mousse and others) come in aerosol cans. We simply cannot remain careless about the way we dispose it. Different states are governed by different regulations as far as aerosol can disposal is concerned. In fact, there are certain states which even treat these cans as hazardous waste. So, it is important for you to educate yourself about the regulations adopted by your state and act accordingly. Go further through the post in order to gain a better understanding.

What should you do with your aerosol cans?

After you are done using the container, make sure it’s completely empty by spraying it. Only when the can stops making a hissing sound can you be amply assured that it is empty. You can drop it off to a nearby recycling facility. Most of these cans are made of steel or aluminum, so they are accepted by most of the recycling centers. In some cases, you might have to pay a small fee for recycling your cans.

If your local hauler does not accept the container then you can place the empty can in the trash. It is best not to dispose the can with leftover product in it. You can read the label for instructions on what to do with these containers.

In case you are heading a commercial firm or industry, you must adopt proper Aerosol can disposal methods—- collecting, managing and dispensing aerosol cans as per state regulations. There are many facilities which have, quite intelligently, stopped using these bottles and replaced them with reusable refillable pumps or spray bottles.

In order to be disposed as a non hazardous waste, the container must:

  • Be freed from all its products (only normal methods of draining out the materials should be followed)
  • Be totally emptied or have only an inch of residue at the bottom (3 percent by weight of the container’s total capacity)

If the can held acute hazardous materials then they should be disposed as hazardous waste.


If the aerosol can still has product in it you can take it to your county household hazardous waste collection. If you are particularly dealing with unused paint then you can check out if any community program is being carried out or not. These programs often include paint projects and might as well be more than willing to accept the unused paint. However, it’s best to buy only that much paint as is required by you— so as to avoid recyclability hassles.