Some states have created environmentally friendly ways to recycle, reuse, and dispose of paint. For instance, in Oregon, California, Rhode Island and Connecticut, there has been legislation to create paint take back programs where there are established drop off locations who accept left over paint. “The collected paint is managed according to the waste management hierarchy emphasizing reuse, recycling, energy recovery and proper disposal.” Click HERE, to read the article about how to dispose of paint properly and learn more about these “take back” programs.
While there is no state run program here in Georgia, there is a company, Atlanta Paint Disposal, who will take your left over paint and find ways to reuse it or will recycle the products and their containers keeping as much of it out of landfills as possible. There are five locations where you can drop off your paint. If you request the pick up service, there is a flat charge for different size containers and different types of paints and stains. Click HERE for all of the details if you are here in Georgia and to learn more about the story of this company and its owners.
If you are going to dispose of your paint in the trash it has to be in solid form. The best way to handle this is as follows:
“DO NOT PLACE LIQUID PAINT IN THE GARBAGE CAN - Add kitty litter or saw dust to liquid oil paints to solidify them before placing the cans – lid off- in the garbage. Latex paints are not considered hazardous, but they must be solidified before disposal so simply leave the lid off the can so the paint will dry. Dispose in the garbage – lid off. ONLY empty paint cans or cans with solidified paint can be put into the garbage container.” City of Atlanta
Excellent alternatives for consumption of paint products and disposal in general should be:
- Buy an ecological and renewable paint product. ROMA Eco-sustainable Building Technologies manufactures products that are mineral based technologies that have extremely low chemical content including paint binders or acrylic resins. These products are engineered for interior and exterior home environments as well as the planet’s environment. In addition to these products being mineral content primarily, they also contain ZERO PEGs, APEOs, ZERO solvents and ZERO asthmatic triggers. These types of technologies are in the long run 100% biodegradable, so the effect of disposal is greatly reduced in terms of damage to eco systems.
- Buy as close to the amount you need as possible. If there is any left over, find a way to use it.
- Store your excess paint properly – paintcare.org recommends you “cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap and securely seal the lid. Store in a place with a moderate room temperature to avoid freezing. Be sure to choose a safe location out of reach of children and pets.” Hopefully you can re-use in the future. ROMA, manufacturer of paints and plasters, in addition recommends to either place plastic wrap or food wrap on the actual surface of the paint and seal the lid as tightly as possible, making sure the interior sides and lid of the container are clean; (ROMA paint products are concentrated so their density easily permits this approach). Another option is to turn the paint can upside down so the lid is on the bottom, preventing air to penetrate the paint container.