Recycling aerosol spray cans has been made easier than ever

Other than their use by Banksy, aerosol spray paint is a staple of construction tools. From marking up defects, indicating the presence of underground services, to signifying work extents on site, spray paint is used daily.

Recycling unit.PNG
Recycling unit.PNG

Each year we dispose of around 17,000 aerosol canisters across our business, which have to be treated as hazardous waste.

On our Wokingham and West Berkshire contracts, we have identified a more efficient and effective solution to sending them as bulky load to a hazardous waste site. VolkerHighways has invested in aerosol spray can recycling units.

The solution works whereby the cans are pierced and excess liquid extracted and collected into the drum, and the harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) filtrated and removed. This method of processing aerosols is safer to store and non-hazardous. Once this process has been completed, the dry canister can be added to existing metal waste collections, lowering emissions and carbon by reducing journeys to specialist waste sites and saving the increased cost of disposal at hazardous waste facilities.

Traditionally, we use a registered safe collection and hazardous waste company, storing on average 96 cans per drum. However, with this recycling system, a single 55-gallon recycling unit can hold the contents of approx. 4,200 aerosol cans.

With this method, the cost of recycling 4,200 cans is £200. When compared to traditional methods, to send the cans for safe disposal, we would need around 43 drums. This provides a potential saving of approximately £8,400 per annum.

A recycling unit has been installed at our Wokingham and West Berkshire depots so far.