WNC Regional Air Quality Agency to hold ‘gas can trade-in’ – last chance today

From a release from Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA)

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 3,384 pounds every year.

The Event

WNC Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA) and the Buncombe County Solid Waste Department will host a FREE gas can exchange program at the Buncombe County Landfill at 85 Panther Branch
Road in Alexander. The exchange will coincide with the weekly Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days on Friday, August 3rd and Friday, August 10th from 9am to 3pm, while supplies last.

One of the new cans.

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. If there is fuel in the returned can, proper disposal is required and is available at the landfill for a fee of $2 CASH for up to a gallon and $2 for each additional gallon.

This project is part of an agreement between American Suzuki Motor Corporation and the US EPA to reduce air pollution emissions. The WNC Regional Air Quality Agency has entered into an agreement with American Suzuki Motor Corporation to receive and exchange the lower emitting gas cans for the benefit of the citizens in our area.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.