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News Releases

News Releases from HeadquartersLand and Emergency Management (OLEM)

EPA Proposes Safe System for Recycling Aerosol Cans that Saves Over $3 Million Per Year

Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON  — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a clear, practical, and safe system for handling hazardous waste of aerosol cans that encourages recycling. EPA estimates it will also save at least $3 million per year in regulatory costs.

“Today’s proposal increases opportunities for safe recycling of aerosol cans, while also simplifying hazardous waste regulations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We remain committed to protecting human health and the environment, while also providing regulatory certainty to American businesses.”

EPA’s proposal streamlines the regulation of hazardous waste aerosol cans by adding them to the list of materials that can be managed under the universal waste management system. Hazardous waste batteries, certain hazardous waste pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and hazardous waste mercury lamps are already included on the federal list of universal wastes.

Aerosol cans are widely used for dispensing a broad range of products, including: paints, solvents, pesticides, food and personal care products, and many others. The Consumer Specialty Products Association estimates that 3.82 billion aerosol cans were filled in the U.S. in 2015 for use by commercial and industrial facilities as well as by households. This proposal, if finalized, is expected to reduce the quantity of waste aerosol cans going to municipal solid waste landfills or waste combustors by promoting their collection and recycling and encouraging the development of municipal and commercial programs.

The 60-day comment period will open upon the forthcoming publication of the proposed Universal Waste Aerosol Can rule in the Federal Register. 

Additional information on this proposal and the federal universal waste program can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/hw/universal-waste.