Information for Councils

The Market for Steel and Aluminium Cans:

As a result of the industry’s efforts over the last 10 years to create the infrastructure and the market, many companies will now purchase your recovered steel and aluminium cans.

Increasing Steel and Aluminium Recycling Rates

Our interest is in getting as many steel and aluminium cans recovered as possible.  Both steel and aluminium are a valuable resource.  They are 100% recyclable and by recycling them over and over again save vast amounts of the energy required to use virgin materials.  It makes economic and environmental sense to recycle!

However there are some misconceptions surrounding paint and aerosol cans that we would like to clarify:


Empty Aerosol Cans

• CFC propellants have not been used in local consumer aerosols since 1989.

• There are no CFC's used in spray cans today.

• Empty aerosol cans are a potential recyclable that should be included in your kerbside collections.

Internationally the safety of including empty aerosols in recycling programmes is well proven. Several bodies such as the USA-based Factory Mutual Research Corporation and the European TUV have confirmed that aerosols are safe to collect, sort and process for recycling.

We encourage you to include empty aerosol cans in your recycling service, but you do need to inform the public about sensible disposal - make sure that the aerosol is empty, reinforce the warning (on all labels) that they shouldn't attempt to pierce or open the can and recommend that they remove and dispose of the large plastic cap or 'spray-thru' lid.

Empty Paint Cans

Empty paint cans represent a huge resource that is being wasted in many communities.

• Dry paint residue - even a thick crust, will not affect the collection operator and is of no consequence to the steel furnace.

• Many New Zealand councils accept empty paint cans - empty/dry and with the lid off - but we encourage ALL councils to introduce this service.

All information is copyrighted to New Zealand Packaging Council