Aerosolv’s green mission
is leading the way in minimizing waste on industrial sites, from the largest manufacturing plant, to chains of hairdressers and tanning salons, thanks to an innovative way of disposing of aerosol cans
Aerosol cans have long posed a problem when it comes to being green. Aside from the issues posed many years ago, when CFCs
were prevalent in creating environmental issues, even currently manufactured aerosol cans are difficult to dispose of due to the chemicals used to pressurize the contents inside.
While many industries have shifted to non-pressurized spray products, several items still exist, such as bug sprays, cleaning products, beauty products, industrial items and more, all of which are packaged in aerosol cans. Sometimes, businesses are unaware of the current regulation to safely dispose of these items, instead sending them through regular trash channels, which creates excess waste and poses dangerous hazards. Others opt for the safe method of designating them as hazardous waste, yet this is costly and time consuming.
Our green mission at Katec, the manufacturer of Aerosolv, is to educate industry members and consumers in the proper disposal of aerosol cans and propane cylinders.
The public is pretty good at knowing what to recycle, and how. We know about putting our cans and bottles outside for pick-up, flattening our cardboard boxes and bringing our old electronics to drop-off locations
. We know about the need to reduce single-use plastic, Styrofoam and cellophane, and we bring our own shopping bags to the store.
Aerosol cans are more temperamental. In fact, an aerosol carelessly thrown into the trash can later explode, especially during the trash-compacting process. Propane cylinders, often used by restaurants for mobile cooking or in backyard barbecues, can be refilled or emptied and recycled
. However, in lieu of recycling, they must be treated as hazardous waste, which carries a sizable handling cost.
The key? Properly depressurize your cans and drain the liquids out, either for reuse or proper disposal. There is no need to waste steel — one of the most energy-intensive products to create, and one of the most recycled
— when we can separate the components of an aerosol product to liquid, gas and container. With the Aerosolv system, aerosol cans are depressurized and drained to create scrap metal that meets the EPA grade for recycling and can often be sold for further reuse.
Katec’s Aerosolv system is still the only aerosol can recycling system certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The benefits, aside from the obvious ones, such as a happier, greener planet for years to come, are often even more evident to local business owners, including:
- Being viewed as a leader in product sustainability and innovation, making your customers proud.
- Preventing the transmission of hazardous waste.
- Saving money on having hazardous waste removed properly.
Who should use an Aerosolv Recycling System?
- Beauty salons, particularly tanning salons with large airbrushing machines
- Restaurants, which can save expensive rates on returning propane cylinders for disposal by converting them to harmless steel containers
- Cleaning companies that use sprays in large quantities, as well as those that encounter used aerosols on site, in places such as gyms
- Pest extermination companies, which use quantities of bug spray
- Manufacturing sites
As a whole, Americans have come a long way in terms of smart and sustainable packaging and disposal. We reduce the amount of wrappings on the products we purchase, we reuse relevant packaging where possible and we send off our goods for recycling on a daily basis. Finding a safe and sustainable method for disposing of and recycling aerosol cans
is helping us move to a happier, more planet-friendly future.
Kristen Morrisett is the Director of Marketing for Katec, Inc. Katec was incorporated as an industrial tool supplier in 1984, and it has now become the manufacturer of two important products that help save the environment and allow companies to tremendously reduce disposal costs.
In its first 10 years, Katec has manufactured and distributed more than 44,000 Aerosolv systems and more than 2,000 ProSolv systems. Even before the first filter change on all of those systems combined, more than 22 million pounds of scrap steel has potentially been recycled. That equates to saving more than 113 trillion BTUs of energy in subsequent steel production and untold amounts of harmful chemicals from entering the waste stream.