Can an empty small usually dark green propane cylinder be recycled with steel cans? ~Long-time Recycler

Dear Long-Time Recycler,

Yes, propane cylinders can be recycled, but not with steel cans. You will need to take them to the Recycling Center’s drop-off area. It’s located on the small road just to the right of the Recycle Office. There is a sign on the building that says, “Aluminum cans deposit.” One of the workers will be there to receive the cylinder.

I have been painting my back porch and have several empty paint cans. Can they be recycled? What about spray cans of paint? Are they recyclable? ~Sprucing Up

Dear Sprucing Up,

To answer to your first question: no, paint cans cannot be recycled. Paint cans go into the trash. But, before throwing them into the trash, be sure to follow the DEP and EPA recommendations for protecting our environment. If there is less than a couple inches of paint remaining in the can, let it dry out first, then put the can in the trash. If there is more paint than this left in the can, add some kitty litter, sand, sawdust or any absorbent material, to the paint and stir it in with the stirrer or spatula. Continue adding and stirring in the kitty litter until there is no liquid left. The paint should solidify in a few hours. Replace the lid and add to trash bag. Kitty litter is added because liquid paint is considered an environmental hazard. To answer your second question: yes, an empty spray can of paint can be recycled like any other spray can. Add it to the recycling bag or bin for steel cans.