The explosive problem of discarded aerosol cans | Sevenoaks District Council

The explosive problem of discarded aerosol cans

Published: Tuesday, 12th July 2022

A Council waste collector narrowly avoided a serious injury when a full aerosol can exploded in the back of dustcart in Swanley.

On Thursday 7 July, a black sack with the aerosol can was placed in the back of the waste vehicle. When the compactor crushed the sack, the aerosol exploded without warning resulting in an injury to a refuse collector.

The crew member was hit on the face by the debris and had to be taken to hospital. Luckily, he was not seriously injured, however it could have been a lot worse as the remnants of the can struck close to one of his eyes.

The Council is reminding residents to never to put an aerosol can in a black sack. Instead, always ensure the can is completely empty and placed in a clear recycling sack. If the aerosol cannot be emptied, it can be safely disposed of at one of Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener, Cllr Margot McArthur, says: “Placing any aerosol can that is not completely empty in a waste sack may not seem dangerous, but it can pose a genuine threat to our staff. These cans are pressurised and can rupture and explode when crushed.

“Our amazing refuse collectors work tirelessly for residents so we want to make sure we keep them safe and are urging residents to not let this happen again.

“Empty aerosols can easily be recycled in your clear sacks every week or, if you’re not able to empty the can, please take it to the tip.”

To find out more about what can and can’t be put in sacks, visit