Can you scrap empty paint cans? Yes, you can scrap empty paint cans and empty aerosol paint cans but you need to know how to properly.
The word empty, means the cans have to be empty. Paint cans, with even a teaspoon of paint in them that is not completely dry, can not be put in with your regular garbage.
Why not? Liquid paint is considered to be hazardous to the environment. You should not pour it down your sink drain or even pour it onto the ground.
Empty Gallon and Quart Paint Cans
If you plan to scrap your old paint cans or place them in the green bin at your curb, the cans must be empty.
One of the best ways to allow paint to dry in these types of cans is to leave the lid off the can. The drying process can take a few hours or days depending on how much paint is in the can.
To lesson your wait because no one wants to sit around and watch paint dry, pour all of the extra paint into a 5 gallon bucket.
Contact a city official and get the phone number and directions to your city’s recycling center. Your local recycling center will have drums or other storage containers available that you can pour your old paint into.
You can leave the empty paint cans at your recycling center. If you want to scrap the old paint cans, you still have to wait for whatever paint that remains in the can to dry.
Scrap yards will accept the old cans as scrap but they must be empty, dry and have the lids removed.
Empty Aerosol Paint Cans
You can scrap empty aerosol paint cans, read that again. The cans must be empty. I like many scrap yards, will only accept aerosol paint cans that are first punctured and then ripped into 2 pieces.
All of the pressure in the can needs to be released before the empty can is punctured.
If you plan to or maybe you have gotten your hands on a large amount of empty aerosol spray cans that you want to scrap, rent or buy an Aerosol Can Crushing Machine.
Aerosol can crushing machines take the worry out of manual can puncturing. They are worth the investment if you are finding a couple hundred empty scrap cans a week.
Tip: Never puncture empty aerosol cans manually or by machine in a closed off environment. Do not puncture them around any type of flame or electrical spark either.
WOA: Some people think that it is ok but luckily, the majority of us know not to throw empty aerosol cans into the garbage. My city as well as your city has guidelines for proper disposal of these empty cans if they are not being sold as scrap metal.