Many airsofters and shooters can safely recycle their used aluminium and steel aerosol cans, providing their local authority permits. Over 75% of local authorities in the UK collect aluminium and steel aerosols in their can banks (along with drinks cans) or through their kerbside collection schemes.
To find out if your local authority is amongst them, contact your local recycling officer.
If they do not include aerosols, encourage them to think about it.
You will find a useful list of recycling officers at: Local Authority Recycling Officers
How to Recycle
If your local authority does collect aerosols, remember - DO NOT PIERCE THEM OR SQUASH THEM and only put EMPTY AEROSOLS in the collection schemes.
Most Local Authorities want all cans (aerosols and non aerosol) mixed in together.
It helps if you can remove any plastic parts that make-way easily, such as lids.
75% of local authorities in the UK recycle empty aerosols through their can banks or kerbside collection schemes, and this number is increasing week on week. If your Council does not yet recycle aerosols - keep checking and persuading. Ever wondered what to speak to local election candidates about when they disturb your tea? In reading this you will know more than them!
The Potential for Recycling
Each year, the UK uses around 600 million aerosols.
On average that's 10 cans per person or 27 cans per household.
Aerosols account for 4% of the metals packaging stream. It is estimated that there are about 25,000 tonnes of tinplated steel and 4,500 tonnes of high grade aluminium available from recycling aerosols in the UK. Detinning will recover tin and high grade steel. Steel scrap is essential in new steel production. Aluminium aerosols are made from 99.7% pure aluminium and have a high resale value.
According to research recycling empty aerosols and tins is very beneficial to the environment. Using recycled scrap metal can produce:
• 75% savings in energy for steel production
• 95% savings in energy for aluminium production
• 90% savings in raw materials used
• 86% reduction in air pollution
• 40% reduction in water use
• 76% reduction in water pollution
• 97% reduction in mining wastes
Shooters and airsofters are already part of the green environment. Now we can do that little bit more.