Recycling Best Disposal Method for Paints and Coatings

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Painting Problems and How To Avoid ThemPt. 2: VOCs Among Concerns When Specifying Paints and Coatings ProductsPt. 3: Factors to Consider Before Starting a Paints and Coatings ProjectPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Products: Paints & Coatings

What Goes Around Comes Around: Recycling Paints

Recycling is the most environmentally appropriate method for disposing of leftover paints and coatings. Environmental regulations covering paint disposal vary by state and even by municipality, so managers need to understand the requirements in their areas.

"What you can do with the solvents is leave the bucket open and let (them) evaporate, and then it's usually safe or legal to throw it away," says Tim O'Reilly of Behr Process Corp. "Everything needs to be verified with the local ordinances, but if they're still using a fair amount of solvents, and there are bans in the country that are still focused on solvents, then consider recycling it."

Most municipalities have recycling stations and designated recycling days when consumers can dispose of unwanted paints and coatings. Some facilities also participate in in-house recycling projects, and a few states offer the option of returning paint to a retail outlet that recycles it.

Another way to dispose of unwanted paints and coatings is to donate them to organizations that can find uses for them.

"School districts, municipalities, and graffiti removal groups all would appreciate the donation of coatings that would otherwise be costly to dispose of," says Nathon Laws of Rust-Oleum.

— Dave Lubach

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  posted on 9/5/2014   Article Use Policy

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