Thursday, September 30, 2010

Project Genesis 10/1/2010



"Goodbye, old Paint I'm a-leaving Cheyenne; Goodbye, old Paint,
I'm a leaving Cheyenne"

(ok so no one else remembers that ditty but me)

No, not that kind of Old Paint.

This kind of paint

image [ Green County Environmental Svcs]

This is one of those things we should all know and we may know some, but at times we get lazy or confused and don't do the right thing. So with that in mind, I did a little research, consolidated info from different sites, simplified it and added my 2 cents.

Every year in the United States, homeowners throw out 64 million gallons of paint. That's enough pint to paint 3,878,788 miles of highway stripes; it's enough paint o paint 16 solid highway stripes from the Earth to the Moon. It's also enough to fill 128 Olympic swimming pools every year.
Before you dispose of old paint, you'll need to determine what kind of paint it is. There are basically two types of paint: oil-based and latex. They have different ingredients and must be handled differently.
Oil-based paints are considered Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) and are not suitable for reuse after long storage. The label of an oil-based paint will say "oil-based" or "alkyd," or it will instruct you to clean brushes with mineral spirits or turpentine. Paints of this type are flammable, toxic and contain harmful solvents, resins and pigments; very old oil-based paints (1978 and before) may also contain lead. For these reasons, oil-based paints must be taken to disposal facilities that accept HHW. Many communities simplify this by holding annual or semi-annual HHW collection days.
Latex or water-based paint, is not a hazardous waste, and can enjoy many reincarnations after its initial use. Latex paints clean up with soap and water.
Before 1990, about 30 percent of latex paints contained mercury and many exterior latex paints still do. For this and other reasons, latex paints must not be disposed of in liquid form.
Specifically do not:
pour latex paint into storm drains, onto the ground,
or into creeks, streams or rivers
put cans of liquid paint out for regular trash pick up
try to burn paint
Local organizations would be happy to accept your left-over paint. Art teachers, summer camps, and non-profit organizations such as Scouting, 4-H, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army can use a potpourri of paint colors for murals, activities, service projects and to spruce up donated items. Leftover paint can be used as a primer for new projects.

High school or community theatre groups can use it for stage sets.

It takes a phone call or two to find a way to donate the paint.

Recycling your old paint might be another option. Some states have recently passed or are considering legislation to require paint manufacturers to collect left-over residential paint for post-consumer use. Even if this program hasn't reached your state, you can ask your local paint dealer to help you re-purpose your excess paint. Start by filtering out solids like thickened paint and brush bristles. Then separate the cans into light colors and dark colors. With the help of your paint professional, light colored paints can be combined and re-tinted to a fresh, new color. Dark paints blend into a brown color. Empty paint cans are recyclable, too, just like food and drink cans.
If you must dispose of your old latex paint, turn it into solid waste. If there's less than one-fourth of the paint in the can, take it outside, place it where kids and pets can't get to it, remove the lid and let the paint air dry. When the paint is hard, you can put the cans out with the rest of your trash. You may need to leave the lids off to show your trash collector that the can is safe for collection.
For larger quantities of paint, you can pour the paint into a cardboard box and mix it with shredded newspaper, cat litter, or a commercial paint hardener to speed solidification. The box goes in the trash when the paint dries and the cans are recycled.
Please remember that you must link to your specific Project Genesis post, not just to your blog. These are archived and we don't want readers searching for your post. Also please follow the RULES I have established. If not, I will bounce you out.. with regret, but bounce " boing" you will go.
I am so grateful to all of you who link and who follow Genesis. It all helps the planet.



Nice and Easy Antiques said...

A couple of weeks ago, the garbage company left me a note saying that they couldn't take my trash because there was a can of paint in my container. I wish I had read your post before!!!

Jacqueline said...

Great post Suzan...I'm passing this month, the Willow Manor Ball was just too exhausting...promise to be back with something next month though!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is really informative and helpful, Suzan. Thanks so much!

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

I'm glad you've cleared this up. I can't believe that people would just throw out a perfectly good can of paint. I seem to dry them up more then anything else... Opening them up so many times.
Thanks for taking the time to do all the research!


Olive Cooper said...

Good idea to donate partial cans of paint. This is my first link I hope it is suitable. ♥O

Maureen said...

Great info. I knew about some of it but not all of it. Thanks for posting this info.

As one more option, you can always Freecycle (Yahoo groups) the paint (or any other item) that you no longer need. You can get things that you need too.

June said...

This is the best post Z. I usually don't have paint left over (I calculate carefully how much I need) but have been confused about how to dispose of it if I ever do. I do throw the cans away though and even wondered if I was doing that correctly. Thank you for clearing up some points for me. If I ever need to toss some I will do so carefully. Funny though, I always find something to slop it on before that happens.

sharon said...

Thanks for this post Suzanne, I took your advice and did a post on rubbish collection which sort of ties in too!


T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi again Suzan, I'm glad to participate for another month of Project Genesis. I have lots of paint containers behind my kitchen door. Thankfully they are not the hazardous kind and are just waiting to be used in another project. Thanks for sharing, inspiring and making us all think more about what we can do each and every day. Best wishes, Tammy

Bead and Needle said...

Great post - interesting that in as many years and houses I have painted, I have never known about letting it dry in the sun to dispose of. Maybe because I always used up the very last drop before I had to get rid of the can. Thanks, Z - maybe next month I can play along!

The Boston Lady said...

Suzan, your lovely comment on my blog led me over here once again. What a wonderfully informative post. I always try to re-use my paint, remixing, etc, but never would have thought about turning it into a solid. With two cats and plenty of kitty litter, this is something I can easily do. Thank you for helping to raise awareness in the environmental issues our world faces. And giving solutions that everyone could use.

Ellie said...

Thanks this was informative!

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

Thank you for all the paint information. I'm passing this on to others.

happy day!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Suzan
this is funny as with no internet to amuse me I have been painting anything not nailed down.. and when I had paint left over.. looked for more things to paint with it..

but seriously >.. some good advice... and the idea of donating left overs is fab!!! great advice....I hadn't thought of that... I only use latex based due to allergies.. but still they need to be handled correctly!!

Thanks for the info.. and for the effort you put into this project... xxx Julie