MacLean Engineering
MacLean Engineering

Paint can recycling

Image of a Paint can recycling and disposal unit, front view and open to show paint cans crushed and ready for recycling.Paint can recycling and paint can disposal can be a problematic process due to the fact that aerosol cans are mostly regarded as hazardous waste in many countries. There are valid reasons behind categorizing used aerosol cans as hazardous wastes. These spray cans contain highly combustible propellants in addition to the main products. When these propellants come in contact with heat, they can lead to an explosion. So, if they are disposed of arbitrarily in empty landfills then there is every chance of these cans exploding when they come in contact with sunlight—thereby hurting the landfill worker.


What you should find out about Spray can disposal?

So, it is actually very important to ensure that users of spray cans are acquainting themselves with the proper ways of Spray can disposal so as to ensure that you are not unwittingly contributing to the entire imbroglio. Today, we will be discussing a few aspects of proper spray can disposal, so that you can actually go on to make an informed decision the next time you are using them.

The countries which treat aerosol cans as hazardous wastes generally require you to submit the cans to a hazardous waste facility until and unless they (i.e. these cans) are totally empty. However, one must educate himself about the “emptiness” of the can in this regard. A can is only considered empty when you have actually taken the trouble to drain out the propellant besides the main product as well. The propellant is the combustible agent responsible for forcing the product out of the can. You need to ensure that you are draining the propellant out of the can (along with the main product like spray paint) if you are willing to take this can to a nearby recycling facility. Needless to say, if you are not draining the propellant out of the can, then you should seek the help of the local hazardous waste facility in order to get rid of the cans. Read on to find out more.


Can you drain out the propellants on your own?

Even you can drain out both the propellant and product from the cans by thoroughly spraying them. Make sure you are performing this operation in a well ventilated area for safety reasons. You will need a few papers on which the contents would be sprayed. Keep on spraying until the hissing sound stops. If you are not sure whether the can is empty or not then make sure you are taking the container to a licensed puncturer. Do not try to flatten or crush or puncture the can on your own. The remnants of the propellants might as well end up hurting you as well.


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