T15 waste exemption: treating waste aerosol cans

The T15 exemption allows you to treat aerosol cans by puncturing or crushing them using specialist treatment equipment, so the metal can be recovered.

Applies to England

Types of activity you can carry out

These include:

  • where you run a fleet of vehicles and collect the empty de-icer cans back at your depot to treat the aerosol cans before taking them off-site to be recovered
  • using aerosol cans treatment equipment (see definitions) to crush a single type of aerosol can to allow the metal can to be recycled

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot:

  • collect aerosol cans from different places and take them back to a single place for treatment
  • mix hazardous waste with other hazardous or non-hazardous waste

The types of waste you can treat

The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.

Waste code Type of waste
160504* Aerosol cans containing residues of or contaminated by hazardous substances only
160505 Aerosol cans only

*May be hazardous waste

The amount of waste you can treat

You can store or treat up to 3,000 cans in any 12-month period.

Key conditions


  • treatment and storage can only be carried out at the place where aerosols are produced
  • waste must be stored in a secure location in vented containers before being treated
  • treatment must be carried out in a well-ventilated area
  • equipment used to treat the aerosols must be designed for the purpose

Other things you need to know

If your activity is regulated under the Solvents Emissions Directive you cannot register this exemption. It should be treated as a Directly Associated activity under your permit.

Register a T15 exemption

You need to register this exemption with the Environment Agency if you meet the requirements.


Hazardous waste – see How to classify different types of waste.

Aerosol cans treatment equipment - the manual crushing of a single type* of aerosol can at the place of production using equipment, which ensures the:

  • collection and secure storage of the cans for recycling
  • collection and secure storage of residues for disposal or recycling
  • filtering of gas and solvents through carbon filters which are approved to a suitable British standard

Except where a small number of aerosols (15 aerosols a week, with no more than 5 being stored at any one time) are crushed on a daily basis. In this situation, we consider suitable treatment equipment to be:

  • an earthed table or support, coupled with an aerosol-piercing device consisting of a brass spike (at least 10 cm long) and wooden or rubber headed mallet
  • ‘a single type’ – refers to the can contents and propellants (all the contents and propellants of all the cans crushed must be the same to ensure incompatible contents are not mixed)
Published 28 April 2014
Last updated 5 November 2015 + show all updates
  1. Changed reference of 'dangerous substances' to 'hazardous substances' due to changes in the law.

  2. First published.