Did you just finish a big paint job and now need to find a way to safely dispose of the used paint?
Why do people always have so much unwanted paint sitting around? The problem stems from the fact that paint is used so much.
Paint will always be needed for remodeling or improving the look of your house or apartment. People also use paint for art projects or for giving furniture a fresh new look in the spring. Or maybe you are seeking a new wall color or new look for the exterior of your house to improve your home’s curb appeal.
The Necessity of Painting
Paint is necessary for a home’s upkeep. Rooms and exteriors that are left unpainted will eventually crack and peel. Cracked and peeling paint can lower your home’s value.
Upkeep of an Older Home
If you have an older home, you might need to regularly paint just to encapsulate old lead paint left on the walls from years ago. Lead paint is harmful to people of all ages, but it is particularly harmful to children. That means that you’ll want to make sure you keep the walls, windows, and doorframes in your house well painted and free of peeling.
Additionally, cracked and peeling exterior paint can even subject your home to damage from the elements. If you want to avoid dry rot or even problems like mold, then you’ll want to keep your home’s exterior paint in good shape by adding fresh coats every 3-7 years if you have wood siding.
Painting Means Leftover Paint
Summed up another way, homeowners have to paint. But, of course, all that painting means leftover paint. You are never going to have the exact amount of paint for any given task. And the larger your home, the more leftover paint you will eventually accumulate.
If you feel as though you don’t know what to do with leftover paint, well, you are certainly not alone. Most people have zero idea what to do with paint once they are finished with it. Getting rid of paint is more complicated than just throwing cans away for your weekly garbage collectors.
Why Can’t You Just Put Paint in the Trash?
It is key to remember that you can’t simply throw away paint. The reason is that paint can be toxic, with some paints being more toxic than others. In fact, improper disposal of paint can be against the law.
Why does paint receive this kind of special attention? It can contain a surprisingly wide array of compounds, and some are much more toxic and problematic than others. For example, oil-based paint is typically the most toxic. Paint related compounds, such as paint thinner, are also quite problematic and can fall under the umbrella of hazardous waste.
Is Taking Paint to the Dump a Realistic Option?
At least for most people, a trip to the dump isn’t a fun way to spend an afternoon. But is this the best way to get rid of your old paint? Where paint is concerned, don’t even bother trying this route.
Caution Must be Taken
Paint has to be dropped off in an appropriate location, one that is willing to take hazardous materials. You cannot simply throw away paint at the dump. There are concerns that it will leak into the ground and contaminate the water supply. It is a good thing rules like this are in place, as dropping off toxic materials at the dump could also hurt the air quality throughout an entire city.
We Wish Paint Were Safer
Yes, it is a little strange that you can cover the walls of your home in something that is considered too toxic to be disposed of at the dump, but this is the fact of the matter. Paint that is safer for people and more environmentally friendly should probably be an industry priority. But until that day arrives, we the consumer have no choice but to invest our time and energy into the disposal of paint.
Consider Giving that Paint a Second Life
Perhaps the easiest and fastest way to get rid of your extra paint is to find a way to use it yourself. Maybe you have an old shed, storage area, or garage that could really use a coat of paint. Instead of buying new paint for the job, consider using the paint you already have on hand. Paint is usually not very eco-friendly. However, putting all of your paint to good use is definitely a step in the right direction towards living a sustainable life!
Give Your Paint Away
Rules vary by state, but there may be programs out there to help you dispose of your paint. Paint take back programs are a great way to deal with this issue. Try googling the name of your city or state with “paint take back program.” There may very well be local paint stores or other businesses that have volunteered to take unneeded paint. If you are in one of the participating nine states, you can also visit Paintcare’s website for information on local drop-off sites for your old paint.
Some charities may have interest in your paint. Charities, such as Habitat for Humanity, will put your paint to very good use. Check with Habitat for Humanity and see if they have any interest in your paint. The time you invest emailing or calling them could be well worth it. Taking this step will help ensure that your extra paint is used to help complete and protect another home.
Take Matters into Your Own Hands
Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of this paint without ever having to leave your house? If you only have a tiny amount of paint to get rid of then consider letting it dry out in the sun. If there is no wet paint left in the can, you can then throw it away. Before going this direction, be sure to check your local laws.
How to Get Paint Ready for Disposal DIY
Another option, specifically for latex paint, is to mix equal parts of cat litter and paint, stir, and let it sit for several hours until it thickens. Dirt, mulch and even shredded paper can be used in a similar manner.
LoadUp that Paint and Forget About It
LoadUp specializes in the proper removal of all kinds of unwanted items including paint. Simply ensure that your paint is mixed with cat litter or dirt and we’ll be sure to come get it for you.
We’ll take care of all the legalities and ensure that your city’s paint disposal rules are followed precisely. If you have any questions about whether we will accept the type of paint you have and how to correctly prepare it for us, just give us a call. We look forward to taking that paint off your hands!
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