Free gas can exchange being held today

Press release:

Trade It In For Cleaner Air

WNC Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA), Biltmore Iron and Metal Company, and the Buncombe County Solid Waste Department will host a FREE gas can exchange program at Biltmore Iron and Metal Company at 1 Meadow Road in Asheville from 9 am to 2:30 pm on Tuesday August 13th, while supplies last.

Please bring your old EMPTY gas cans (that are not equipped with new spill and vent-proof features) to the event and exchange each one for a new, environmentally friendly, Briggs and Stratton gas can. The new cans are available in 2-gallon and 5-gallon sizes, and there is a limit of 5 new cans per person. We cannot accept gas cans that contain gasoline or other fuels. If there is ANY fuel in the can, it will NOT be eligible for the exchange.

The purpose of this project is to reduce air pollution emissions. The WNC Regional Air Quality Agency has entered into an agreement with a corporate donor to receive and exchange the lower-emitting gas cans for the benefit of the citizens in our area.

Product instructional video:
Any product defects or issues should be addressed with the product manufacturer.

Why a Gas Can Exchange?

Gas cans and the way we use them can harm Western North Carolina’s air quality and our health. Gasoline contains many harmful pollutants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Spilled gas and gas vapors do not disappear; they end up in the water, in the soil, and in the air.

VOC emissions from gas cans occur from evaporation and spillage from overfilling fuel tanks. Emissions are also released through secondary vent holes and permeation through the container walls when transporting and storing the cans. Storing conventional gas cans may pose a threat to the health of those in the home. When older, conventional gas cans are stored in the basement or the garage, the toxic vapors emitted can harm those with respiratory ailments. In addition, VOCs can react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) from vehicles, industrial facilities, and other combustion sources to form ground-level ozone. Too much ground-level ozone can be harmful to our health and the environment.

Trading in an older, leaky gas can for a new, environmentally friendly can might not sound like a big deal on its own, but when you add up the impact of all of these trade-ins, the emissions reduction does make a difference. According to the US EPA, older, traditional gas cans release about 8 pounds of VOCs through spills and evaporation each year. By using newer gas cans, which are made of materials that minimize permeation losses and include features such as spill-proof shut off valves and no secondary vent holes, harmful gasoline vapors can be reduced by at least 50 percent, or 4 pounds per year. With this gas can exchange program, we can reduce VOCs in Buncombe County by 1,992 pounds per year. In combination with last year’s project, we will have reduced VOCs by 5,376 pounds per year!

For more information, please go to or call WNCRAQA at (828) 250.6777


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