St. Clair County Resource Recovery Office

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol containers are pressurized and often contain flammable or poisonous chemicals. When disposed of in the trash, the containers may be punctured in the gargage truck or at a landfill or incinerator, causing explosions, fires or injuries to sanitation workers.

This fact sheet provides instructions for disposal of products in aerosol containers. The St. Clair County Resource Recovery Office also has fact sheets on how to dispose of other common types of household hazardous waste:

  • Adhesives
  • Antifreeze
  • Cleaners, Medications, and Cosmetics
  • Gasoline
  • Paint
  • Solvents
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Pesticides

For more information on household hazardous wastes and collection programs:
St. Clair County Resource Recovery Office
(810) 985-2443

The best way to get rid of products in aerosol containers, Unless they contain banned pesticides, is to use them up following label directions. If you can't use them up, give them to someone who can. Try giving products in aerosol containers to:

  • Friends and neighbors
  • Community Groups
  • Schools
  • Business

DISPOSAL: When you Can't Use It Up
Once an aerosol container is completely empty, so that you can no longer hear any air releasing, you can throw it away with your trash. If you can still hear air releasing, follow the instructions below to depressurize the container.

Almost-empty containers:
Almost-empty aerosol containers can be emptied and depressurized following the directions below. Do not use this procedure for container of pesticides or prescription medicine. Follow the instructions on the back for pesticides and medicines in aerosol containers.

Step 1: Find an outside work area, away from children and pets. Avoid inhaling vapors, stay upwind of where you are spraying, and follow all safety precautions suggested on the container label.

Step 2: Completely empty the container. Spray the contents into a cardboard box until you can no longer hear air releasing from the container. If the nozzle is plugged, try replacing the nozzle with one from a different container.

Step 3: When the container is empty and completely depressurized, throw the container and the cardboard box in the trash.

Contact Information

Environmental Services Department
6779 Smiths Creek Road
Smiths Creek, MI 48074

Phone: Smiths Creek Landfill (810) 985-2443
Household Hazardous Waste     (810) 985-2443
Recycling (810) 985-2443
Fax: (810) 367-3062
Email: Environmental Services
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Solid Waste & Recycling Status: 

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