Aerosol Can Recycling ♲: With less than a month to go, we are getting closer and closer to the much-awaited Earth Day this 2020. And what better way to welcome it by writing another blog dedicated to recycling! Let me discuss with you this time everything on the recycling of aerosol cans.


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A Bit About Waster

Before we discuss the topic of aerosol can recycling, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for you and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

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READ: Recycled Pens 🖊️


Everything You Need To Know About Aerosol Can Recycling

Can you imagine yourself not using any deodorant when going out? If you ask me, I certainly cannot. Not only does it make me smell good, but it also gives me the confidence I need in talking to just about anyone. I am not alone in this, I know many of you also use deodorants for this reason.

What happens when we empty the deodorant can? Naturally, we buy a new one, of course. But where do we dispose of the empty ones? And what should be done after their disposal? Let me discuss further in the following sections. Check our blog on recycling incentives while you’re at it.


Why Should We Recycle Them?

Did you know that in Australia and New Zealand, we use an average of 250 million aerosol cans each year? In Australia, that means about 10 aerosol cans each every year. Additionally, more than half of it ends up in a landfill somewhere along with these two aforementioned countries. So it is very important that we should recycle them.

Unfortunately, not many know the importance of recycling aerosol cans – such as deodorants. In fact, they don’t even believe in the slightest the recyclability of it! They don’t know that (a) they are made from steel and aluminium – the more popular, recyclable materials, and (b) a fair amount of recycling facilities accept them – provided you follow their instructions. In the next section, I will discuss how you can recycle aerosol cans used mainly for hygiene.

aerosol can art

How You Can Recycle Aerosol – Or Deodorant Cans

Recycling aerosol – particularly deodorant – cans is fairly tricky, to say the least. That is because some deodorant tubes – the affordable ones you can buy in supermarkets – are mostly composed of plastic. According to Earth911, most deodorants people commonly buy consists of high-density polyethylene (type 2 plastic), low-density polyethylene (type 4 plastic), or polypropylene (type 5 plastic), though it may vary depending on the brand.

But even then, recycling is worth a try. In 2015, Unilever Australia teamed up with Planet Ark, aiming to increase the recycling rate of their own aerosol deodorant cans. The following excerpt from their announcement states:

The partnership will ultimately help us to better understand and address some of the barriers that up until now have resulted in fairly low recycling rates for aerosol products.

Additionally, all of their deodorant aerosol brands will feature the recycling logo. Just remember to check first for the logo before you throw it. According to them, we should rest assured that their deodorants brand are very much recyclable and should be disposed of in the recycling bin.

You can also opt to send them to TerraCycle if you live in the US. Deodorant aerosol cans will be accepted and recycled through the help of Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program. With their help, they take your deodorant waste and shred, wash, melt, and form pellets hailing from the original material. And in turn, the newly-produced pellets will be used to manufacture new items.


But What If It’s Full Of Plastic, Anyway?

As I have mentioned above, other brands incorporated plastic in the making of their deodorant aerosol cans. What can we do with them?

According to Earth911, you should base it on the recycling codes available on your deodorant. What do I mean by this? Well, first you should check to see if some parts of the tube contain a recycling code – i.e., an identifier on what type of plastic it is. As a result, you technically could not put it in the recycling bin as this will contaminate the recyclable materials. I will explain further.

This event is called recycling contamination. Basically, this happens when you throw in items not acceptable by your local recycling programme. This can greatly affect the local recycling in negative ways. For one, it will cost your city a lot of money if ever this happened to your area and also ruin an entire batch of recyclables.

Recyclers advise us to do the following for us to avoid contaminating our local recycling stream: remove the parts that have a recycling code. That includes the dial on the bottom of the tube, the insert that moves the deodorant up and down, the cup, and the protective insert you remove before starting to use the deodorant.

Additionally, you also have to make sure to rinse well before recycling deodorant aerosol cans. Leaving it unrinsed will also result in the contamination of the recyclable materials, thereby resulting in lower recyclables value. Rinse them clean with soap and water to remove residue before dropping them off for recycling.


Maybe We Should Stop Recycling Aerosol Cans?

One interesting take on this is an article I read at ABC. It states that no matter what anyone – even recyclers – say, we should never recycle aerosol cans. What made them think so?

Well, that is because recycling it means exposing recyclers to huge fires and explosion risks. All across Australia, there seems to be an increasing number of waste collectors refusing to collect and recycle aerosol cans – even ones with the recycling symbol. This is to minimise the possibility of danger the recyclers may experience. Additionally, barbecue gas bottles and camping gas bottles, along with batteries, are also heavily discouraged being put in recycling bins.


Recycling Aerosol Cans: Conclusion

For us to reduce the amount of aerosol – specifically deodorant – cans going into landfills, we must find ways on how to properly dispose of and recycle them. They are very much recyclable, after all. But be careful; if you do not treat them properly and just dump them in the recycling bin as is, you run the risk of contaminating a whole batch of recyclables in your local recycling facilities.


Waster: Things You Need To Know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.


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