Thursday, November 6, 2014

Encouraging Recycling of Empty Aerosols

Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.5 percent recycling rate, according to most recent EPA estimates.  About 9% of the waste generated is metal.  Aerosol products only make up a small percentage of that, but 3.8 billion aerosol products are produced in the US each year, so there is still a very large opportunity to make a significant impact.

Representatives of CAPCO recently participated in the national Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, LA to engage directly with professionals in the recycling industry, including MRF (Material Recovery Facility) operators, waste haulers, equipment suppliers, and recycling coordinators for local municipalities.

CAPCO has been working to increase awareness that aerosol products are recyclable.  They are made of steel or aluminum, which are infinitely recyclable and valuable in the waste stream.  According to the Steel Recycling Institute’s (SRI) National Recycling Database, there are over 21,000 locations that accept steel cans, but only a third of those actively publicize the acceptance of aerosol cans. Communication is vital to keeping aerosols out of landfills.  We are working with partners like SRI to get a consistent message out to both consumers and recycling programs.  Aerosols ARE recyclable when empty and this should be communicated by the municipality, the waste hauler, and on the product itself.    In many cases it is, but there is still work to be done.   You can help by inquiring with  your municipality to see if they’re accepted, and encourage them to include that information clearly on bin/instructions, if so, or encourage them to include them, if not.  Please visit for more information.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What to Do Once the Sun Sets

Summer is nearly over and so is your can of spray sunscreen. Now what?

Now it’s time to recycle. Spray sunscreens, like other household aerosol products, are recyclable so long as the can is empty. What’s more, recycling the cans is easy.
Thousands of communities now include aerosol product recycling in both household residential and curbside buy-back and drop-off programs. All you have to do is use up the last spray of the product and drop it in your recycling container.
Not sure if your local program accepts empty aerosol products? Give them a call and ask.
Help keep beaches clean and garbage cans empty. Recycle your spray sunscreen product and tell your neighbors to do so too.
To learn more click here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A New World Cup Hero Emerges

No, we’re not referring to Messe or Ozil, but a new product that utilizes the aerosol product form to help referees move games along faster.  The product is a water-based foam that is sprayed on the field by referees to make a temporary line for penalty kicks, etc, and it has become referred to as “felony foam” among fans and via Twitter.
Photographer: Michael Steele/Getty Images

The product was invented by an Argentine company called 915 Fair Play.  It has been widely adopted in Latin America and made its debut with the rest of the professional soccer world at this year’s World Cup Tournament in Brazil.   

This innovation is a great example of utilizing the technology of the aerosol product form to develop a product that met a consumer need.  This disappearing foam quickly and accurately marks the field and then dissolves on its own in less than two minutes!

The Consumer Aerosol Products Council reminds consumers that aerosol products are recyclable when empty and they no longer include CFCs.  To learn more about the aerosol product form, please visit:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2013 Recycle-Bowl Winners Announced!

Recycle-Bowl® is a nationwide classroom recycling competition that CAPCO has supported for the past two  years with  nearly 700,000 students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia competing.

The 2013 national Recycle-Bowl champion was Foothill Elementary School in Pittsburg, CA where students recycled 157 pounds of materials per child. If all students in America recycled at the rate of this year’s Recycle-Bowl competitors, approximately 3.2 million tons of material would be diverted annually from landfills. That is the equivalent weight of 302,033 school buses.

“Inspiring young people to recycle at school reinforces the importance of recycling everywhere, whether at home or on the go,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We are also pleased that so many schools use the competition to improve existing recycling programs or develop new ones that didn’t exist prior to their participation.”

From Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, 2013, participating schools recycled as much as possible. The total amount of recyclables recovered during the 2013 competition added up to 6.4 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 8,913 metric tons of carbon equivalent.  In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 473 passenger cars.

The competition offered a $1,000 prize to the school in each state that collected the most recyclable material per capita. A national champion was then chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of another $1,000 and a $2,500 store credit from Busch Systems to purchase recycling bins, earning a total of $4,500 in prize money for the California school.

“The Recycle-Bowl competition offers a chance to strengthen the current recycling efforts in our school and activate students to recycle. The raised awareness and excitement around recycling reaches each grade level in the school and brings a sense of ownership to each student, “said Sara Fuentes, recycling coordinator for Foothills Elementary School. “Our students worked hard—they’re proud of the impact they had on recycling in the school.” 

CAPCO has supported the Recycle-Bowl as a toolkit sponsor and has included a classroom activity and an information sheet about recycling empty aerosol products which is sent to the first 1,000 schools that register for the competition each year.