A Safer, More Environmentally-Friendly Business: Hazardous Waste to Recyclable Steel (Guest Post)

Submitted by Ava Federov. pb 

Over 3.5 billion aerosol cans are produced each year. In 2010, aerosol cans were being recycled at a rate of 67%. That means that 1 billion aerosol cans, considered hazardous waste, are being stored or disposed of improperly, and not by industry standards.

Oftentimes, businesses and individuals aren’t quite sure how to dispose of steel cans and containers properly, so the waste ends up in landfills or dumps. Not only can this lead to hefty fines, but it also puts people and the environment at risk of being exposed to hazardous waste and the repercussions to follow.

Read on to learn more about the characteristics of hazardous waste, how to avoid hazardous waste-related issues in the workplace, and how to safely dispose of your business’s steel containers.

Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

Paints, pesticides and lubricants are just a few examples of common but hazardous aerosols.
A non-empty aerosol can may be considered hazardous waste if it has the following characteristics:

  • Ignitability (can readily catch fire)
  • Corrosivity (acidic or alkaline)
  • Reactivity (can explode)
  • Toxicity (poisonous)

To avoid experiencing the effects of any of the characteristics above, DO NOT keep cans next to a furnace or in a hot environment, near acids where the cans may corrode, or in a place where the cans may get dented or damaged.

Hazardous Waste to Recyclable Steel

In order for steel containers to become recyclable, they must be completely empty. Although an aerosol can may feel and sound completely empty when shaken, the best way to ensure that there is no hazardous waste left over is to safely puncture and drain the contents with an aerosol can recycling system such as Aerosolv, which is the only EPA-verified system available. Systems are typically comprised of a puncturing device, a carbon filter, and a drum. DO NOT attempt to puncture cans without a device specifically meant for the job.

The process:

  1. Safely punctures the aerosol can
  2. Relieves pressure from the can
  3. Collects any residual liquids, wet or dry

Recycling technology, like the aerosol can depletion system above, reduces businesses’ waste disposal costs significantly, keeps the workplace safer, and the environment cleaner.   

About Us

Katec Incorporated is the manufacturer of the first and only aerosol can recycling system certified by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and California EPA ETV Program (Environmental Technology Verification), and manufactures propane canister recycling systems as well. Aerosolv safely punctures and drains aerosol cans, while Prosolv depressurizes propane canisters. Both systems turn hazardous waste into recyclable steel in seconds, reducing the risk to people and the environment and allowing businesses to be in compliance and more sustainable. Visit us at http://www.aerosolv.com/