A new recycling system to collect and recycle aerosol cans has been launched by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This new initiative will save millions in regulatory costs each year. Each year more than 1.6 billion aerosol cans are used in manufacturing and automotive businesses throughout the US. The substances inside these aerosol cans are a challenge for the recycling sectors. They include aerosols and hazardous waste materials such as insecticides, cooking sprays, solvents and paints.
Aerosols covered under the act
The EPA has made changes to the legislation to ensure aerosol cans can now be collected and recycled under the universal waste programme. As a result the federal ‘Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’ was amended to embrace the change to allow aerosol cans to be recycled. As a consequence many observers are expecting savings in regulatory costs of over $40 million annually.
The EPA effectively has benefited 25,000 facilities across the US in the retail, construction and manufacturing sectors. They can now add this waste stream to existing universal waste programmes. This simplified structure will help improve regulatory compliance making aerosol can collection more economical and viable.
Similarly in Australia over 90% of municipal councils collect aerosols for recycling. There are two types of aerosols, steel and aluminium. Both are readily recyclable. Australians have done well with recycling of aerosols through home recycling bins. Recycling rates in 2015 were 51% of all used steel cans and by comparison, 44% of all aluminium cans. Recent studies into home recycling bins have concluded that aerosol cans can be recycled safely with other metal recycling.
Recycal are one of Australia’s foremost scrap metal recycling suppliers. Above all they work closely with the state and federal governments to monitor global trends. This ensures our collection and recycling strategies are leading edge.