US EPA adds Aerosol Cans to Universal Waste Rules


US EPA adds Aerosol Cans to Universal Waste Rules

Creation date


With the announcement from the EPA that Aerosol Cans will soon be a Universal Waste, the expectation and goal of the change is to divert this waste from Landfills and Incineration to Recycling.

To review the EPA Final Rule published on December 9, 2019, please visit the Federal outlining the 84 FR 67202



In the recent EPA Press Release: "EPA anticipates that this final rule will promote greater consistency for the regulated community as several states already include aerosol cans in their universal waste programs. The final rule offers a more uniform, nationwide handling system and furthers our effective partnerships with states and tribes by making it easier for states to add this waste stream to their universal waste programs."


Contact our team now  with any questions regarding how this change effects your business. 

Our team will provide a complimentary compliance consultation and to ensure you are taking advantage of the many Sustainable Waste Recycling benefits of this new regulation, as well as others.


When will the rule become effective?

The rule will be effective on February 7, 2020; approximately 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.


Will this rule effect my business?

According to the EPA Final Rule, "This will affect persons who generate, transport, treat, recycle, or dispose of hazardous waste aerosol cans, herein referred to as aerosol cans, unless those persons are households or very small quantity generators (VSQGs)."


Why is the EPA adding Aerosol Cans as a Universal Waste?

The EPA expects under the final rule a number of aerosol cans will be diverted from municipal solid waste landfills and incinerators to recycling (e.g. scrap metal recycling) or disposal in Subtitle C facilities.  According to the EPA, this change will "benefit the wide variety of companies generating and managing hazardous waste aerosol cans. 


What types of aerosols are subject to Universal Waste Rule?

A aerosol can is defined as a non-refillable receptacle containing a gas compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure, the sole purpose of which is to expel a liquid, paste, or powder and fitted with a self-closing release device allowing the contents to be ejected by the gas. This definition is consistent with DOT regulations.

This definition does not include compressed gas cylinders.


Will all States adopt the rule?

This final rule will be less stringent than the current federal program. Because states are not required to adopt less stringent regulations, they will not have to adopt the universal waste regulations for aerosol cans, although EPA encourages them to do so.



What States have already added aerosol cans to their Universal Waste Regulations?

Universal waste aerosol can programs are already in place in CA, CO, NM, OH and UT.  Also, MN also plans to add aerosol cans to their universal waste regulations by the end of 2019.

If a state’s standards for aerosol cans are less stringent than those in the final rule, the state would have to amend its regulations to make them at least equivalent to the federal standards and pursue authorization.



Contact our team now  with any questions regarding how this change effects your business. 

Our team will provide a complimentary compliance consultation and to ensure you are taking advantage of the many Sustainable Waste Recycling benefits of this new regulation, as well as others.



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