• Aerosol Cans: The Hazardous Waste You Might Be Overlooking
  • Brittany

    Brittany Massaro leads New Pig’s marketing automation team. She works with marketers to create and disseminate information to help customers comply with regulations, select the appropriate products for their applications, stay safe and protect their environments.

  • Jaredsays:
    04/11/2016 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Nobody thinks about the aerosol before throwing cans in the garbage. Aerosol is one of the major pollutants.

    • Karensays:
      04/12/2016 at 3:38 pm Reply


      That is a great point. A lot has been done, however, to minimize the pollutants in aerosol cans. For example, Chlorofluorocarbons were banned several years ago and most propellants used today are far less hazardous. In fact, for some spent aerosol cans, the main hazard is the fact that the can remains pressurized after its use.

      Spent aerosol cans are often overlooked as hazardous waste at facilities because similar products are used both at home and at work. At home, it is acceptable to throw an aerosol can in the trash, so many people don’t give aerosol cans a second thought at work either. The difference is EPA governance. While EPA rules apply to facilities, the EPA does not have the authority to govern homeowners and general consumers.

      To help narrow the gap between at-home and at-work disposal practices, many communities now offer “household hazardous waste days” to collect items for recycling and help prevent common hazardous materials from being landfilled. Aerosol cans are often among the items that are collected at these events.


  • Gregsays:
    09/06/2017 at 3:58 pm Reply

    Could the drum used for collecting the residuals from puncturing cans be considered a satellite accumulation area?

    • Brittanysays:
      09/30/2017 at 9:49 pm Reply

      The drum used to collect the residuals from punctured cans could be considered a satellite accumulation area if it meets the criteria for satellite accumulation.

      Assuming that there is not an acutely hazardous material in the cans that are being punctured, the EPA’s satellite accumulation rule allows small and large quantity hazardous waste generators to accumulate up to 55 gallons of hazardous waste at or near its point of generation, but the following rules must be followed:
      1. The container must be kept closed when wastes are not being added or removed. So, the can puncturing unit and filter would both need to be removed and the bung caps replaced after the unit is used.
      2. The unit must be under the control of the operator generating the waste.
      3. The container must be properly labeled.

      Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

  • craig atwatersays:
    04/03/2020 at 2:32 pm Reply

    Can I use 1 drum to empty all my aerosoIs that I puncture or do I have to have a drum for each different aerosol? Are the residuals a hazardous waste and therefore a separate waste stream must be generated. ie: 1 for paints, 1 for inks, 1 for solvents, 1 for cleaners, etc.

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