Did you know that according to the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out about 64 million, yes million, gallons of paint every year? What does 64 million gallons look like? The United States Department of the Interior calculated that this equals 128 Olympic size swimming pools. That folks, is a lot of paint.
So the next question must be, “Where does all of this paint go?”
The reality of the situation is, it is the consumers’ responsibility to safely use leftovers or properly dispose of the products.
OK, then what options do we have?
1) Donate it
Find an organization that has a need for paint. This could be a local theatre group that uses it in set design. A family that could paint an accent wall in their house. Use your imagination, someone may have a need.
2) Use it yourself
Add a 2nd or 3rd coat of paint to whatever it is you are painting. Is there another project in your house that could use a coat of paint?
3) Recycle it
Many communities have collection sites that will take your paint.
4) Dispose of it properly
This should lead you top the question, “How do I do that?”
It is important to understand that not all paints are created equal, thus there is no one answer to this dilemma. Shy of finding opportunities to use all of the paint, the best solution is to take it to a recycle center. None available you say. Then disposal options must be investigated.
Oil Base Paints
Oil based paints should be taken to a recycle center. Check with your community to learn more. You may also want to check with your local paint store or painting contractor to learn about options. Often times these paints will be incinerated. We suggest that you read the manufacturer’s instructions for greater information.
Latex paints have other solutions. Left in its liquid form there is the possibility that it may leak out during transport and end up on the roadway or even the vehicle that is following the truck. Landfills will accept “dry paint”.
You, the consumer have “drying” options. You can purchase a paint hardener to solidify the paint, or you may mix dirt, or kitty litter, or shredded paper with the paint Allow the paint container to fully dry and add the items to your weekly trash.
AC Trash Hauling will haul away small quantities of latex paint. It is our preference that our customer adds the dirt, kitty litter or shredded paper to the cans. Sadly we cannot and will not accept oil based products. If you have any questions about paint disposal, please contact the manufacturer or your community recycle center.