Cambridgeshire County Council targets aerosols for recycling

A new campaign in Cambridgeshire is aiming to encourage householders to recycle empty aerosol cans along with normal food and drinks containers.

Cambridgeshire County Council have told residents that their existing recycling schemes at household waste recycling centres, outside supermarkets and kerbside collections can now handle both aluminium and steel aerosols.

The recycling officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, Mark Shelton, said: “At the moment, the council’s ten household waste recycling centres recycle nearly 58% of the waste residents bring, and the target is to get recycling to over 65% this year. Aerosol can recycling should definitely help tip the balance.”

Aerosols account for about 4% of the metals packaging stream

More than 600 million aerosols are consumed annually in the UK, with about 30,000 tonnes of reclaimable high grade metal going straight to landfill every year. Aerosols account for about 4% of the metals packaging stream in the UK, with approximately 65% of aerosols made from tin plated steel, and the rest from high grade aluminium.

Cambridgeshire have been assisted in their new campaign by the British Aerosol Manufacturers Association (BAMA), which is looking to help any local authority publicise the issue.

“Many people do not realise that empty aerosols can be recycled along with other metal waste,” said BAMA technical manager Paul Jackson. “Research, both in the UK and elsewhere has concluded that empty aerosols are safe to recycle as long as simple safety measures are adopted.”

In recycling aerosols, householders have to make sure they don't pierce or crush the cans, and that the cans are empty. The aerosols can be mixed in with other metals waste.

  • For further information on aerosol recycling, or to obtain free can bank labels, e-mail:

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