Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Regulated Materials

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Waste Aerosol Cans

This guidance document is prepared by MnDOT personnel and is intended only for use on MnDOT projects, including partnership projects, and MnDOT Maintenance Operations.

MNDOT has prepared this guidance document to provide its internal procedures and requirements for work performed on MnDOT rights of way, including MnDOT-owned facilities.

This document should not be construed as a full description of all regulations pertaining to the subject matter. Contact the Regulated Materials Unit in the MnDOT Office of Environmental Stewardship for additional information or legal requirements.


As a product aerosol cans contain regulated ingredients; solvents or paints for example. Aerosol cans are considered a waste if empty, defective, beyond shelf life, or can no longer be used for any reason.

Managing Empty Aerosol Cans

Empty aerosol cans are exempt from hazardous waste rules and can be thrown in the trash or metal scrap bin.

  • An empty aerosol can is defined as:
    • A can with a working valve that no longer contains any compressed gas propellant or liquid product.
    • An attempt must be made to remove all liquid product from the can through the working valve. Note: the can may contain less than 3% liquid product and still be considered empty.

Waste Partially-Filled Aerosol Cans

  • Defective cans that are returned to the manufacturer or distributor are not considered waste under MPCA regulation.
  • other partially-filled aerosol cans must be containerizing in a drum for disposal.

Do NOT Puncture Aerosol Cans

  • Puncturing of aerosol cans is not legal under MPCA regulation.
  • If punctured, contents may be released so forcefully that injuries could result.

Containerization, storage, transport, and record keeping

  • Caps and stems must be removed prior to placing in drum.
  • Hazardous Waste labels are not required, but partially-filled and defective aerosol cans must be disposed of through MnDOT’s hazardous waste contractor.
  • Drums of waste aerosol cans can be transported off-site by MnDOT personnel in MnDOT vehicles.

Follow waste handling guidance.