25 Nov Paint Waste Disposal
Paint is a simple solution to liven up your interior space. With a fresh new coat, you can rejuvenate some drab walls or appease your eight-year-old’s dreams of a pink bedroom. Not only that, paint is inexpensive and easily-applied. So, while you may be quick to opt for this home makeover solution, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to paint.
More often than not, you’ll end your project with leftover paint, which will require your proper disposal. Leftover paint contains hazardous materials that can leak into the ground, causing injury to sanitation workers or potentially contaminating septic tanks. So, make sure to comply with these necessary paint-disposal guidelines.
If you’re a Californian, this task is made rather simple. That’s because, in 2010, California passed a paint take-back legislation that instituted a program called PaintCare. While this slightly raised the price of paint, you now have access to take-back locations wherein waste management professionals will dispose of your paint.
More things to keep in mind with paint:
While as Californians, we have access to this simple solution, there are a few other ways to use and dispose of paint effectively.
- Buy only as much paint as you need. It can be easy to skip the initial step of measuring your walls. But, this is a crucial aspect of avoiding large amounts of leftovers. Start by measuring your walls and determining their surface area. You can do so by multiplying its height and length and subtracting the area of any windows and doors. For your reference, a gallon of paint will cover about 350 feet.
- Save and store unused paint. Latex paint can last for up to ten years and oil-based paint for 15. PaintCare recommends covering the paint cans with plastic wrap, keeping them tightly sealed in a leak-proof container, and storing them upside down. Be sure that these are kept out of reach of children and pets and in a temperature-controlled environment.
- Latex paint can be mixed and reused. For recycling purposes, latex paint is an excellent option for basic coats and functional paint jobs. While your combination of colors may not look appealing, this is a great opportunity to recycle. You might also check with your local schools and municipalities who might collect and make use of paint for community projects.
- Recycle the paint cans. It’s not just paint that can be repurposed. The cans in which it comes is also recyclable. If you’ve found a new use or disposed of your leftover paint, let the residue of your paint can dry and recycle it, among other metals.
- Dispose of oil paints as hazardous waste. Local Household Hazardous Waste facilities are your best option to do this properly. However, some communities offer year-round, annual, or biannual waste handling drop-off services.
- Disposing of latex paint is a bit simpler. This type of paint is not considered hazardous waste, so you do have the opportunity to put it in the trash. Pour the unwanted paint into a container of shredded material or kitty litter and allow it to dry. Once it has fully solidified, you can throw it out. And be sure to recycle its container!