Pepper Spray Hazardous Waste Not Empty? It’s Hazardous Waste Pepper spray presents a risk for sanitation workers and waste facilities. If there’s even a drop of liquid left inside of an aerosol canister, it is still pressurized and can explode, so dispose of it as hazardous waste. Leaking? Seal It in Plastic If your pepper spray is leaking, put it in a plastic container with a tight, secure lid, then dispose of it as hazardous waste. While transporting, keep the pepper spray in a well-ventilated area. Discharge In a Safe Place Find a place where no one is nearby and the wind won’t carry the spray to nearby homes or yards. Wear protective eyewear. Then stand upwind and spray downwind so you won’t harm yourself, or spray directly into the ground. Toss Empty Containers in Garbage Once you’ve completely emptied the pepper spray container, you can place it in the garbage. Avoid Contact With Skin or Clothing If pepper spray gets on your clothing, remove it while avoiding touching your face, cutting off your shirt if necessary. Then wash your hands and any other affected areas with soap and cool water. Did You Know? How Often Should You Replace Pepper Spray? Always follow manufacturer guidelines when it comes to replacing your pepper spray. If your pepper spray doesn’t have a listed expiration date — as a general rule of thumb — you should replace it every three to four years.