The Steel Can Recycling Institute has traditionally promoted the recycling of steel food and beverage cans. But all steel cans are 100% recyclable, and so the SRI announces a new recycling opportunity: steel paint cans. The following is important information on steel paint can recycling for consumers, professional painters and retailers. It is imperative that this information be carefully understood and followed to safely implement effective steel paint can recycling.
The paint cans themselves are as recyclable as steel food and beverage cans. They, alone, are environmentally safe. But they must be properly prepared so that the contents are also environmentally safe.
Paint cans must be emptied. There cannot be a layer of paint at the bottom of the can. A thin skin of dried paint on the sides and bottom of the can is acceptable.
The paint inside must be dry before recycling.
Both oil-based and acrylic paint cans can be recycled. Oil-based paint cans should not be recycled in high concentrations (this applies to professionals who may recycle large volumes of cans at once).
Most participating steel mills and detinners will take paint cans if they are properly prepared as above. However, prior to implementing a comprehensive steel paint can recycling program, it is important to check with your market buyer.
How do you recycle paint cans? Check with your community drop-off centers or curbside program operators to encourage them to begin recycling steel cans.