Aerosol Cans Illegal in Garbage, Recycling & Drains Hazardous Waste Only empty aerosol cans are allowed in the recycling cart. Full and partially full aerosol cans are hazardous waste. It's Hazardous Waste If there’s even a drop of liquid left, an aerosol can is still pressurized and can explode, so dispose of it as hazardous waste. Empty Cans Are Recyclable If an aerosol can is completely empty, it’s OK to recycle it with other metal cans. Did You Know? Aerosol Cans Still Aren't Green The United States stopped using chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol cans in the 1970s because they were depleting the ozone layer. Yet aerosol cans still contain chemicals that contribute to climate change, such as compressed gases and hydrocarbons.