Many people store gallons of extra paint in their households. This stockpiled paint could be harmful if not managed properly and can be reused, recycled, or donated. Depending on when the paint was produced, it could contain toxic chemicals or metals, which should be treated as hazardous household waste.
Latex paint is the most commonly used paint for the interior and exterior decoration of homes. Other types of paints include oil-based paints for lacquering or varnish, art paint, and aerosol sprays.
Most paint is made up of a resin, solvent, pigment and additives.
1. Using acrylic, linseed, or other synthetic material, resin coats the wall with a film that enables the paint to stay in place.
2. Paints are applied as liquids until their solvents, such as water, toluene, and xylene, evaporate.
3. Pigments give paints their color and can contain titanium, iron oxide, clay, or sulfates.
4. Other additives may be used for various purposes, such as thickening the paint, increasing drying time, and preventing mold build up.
1. If improperly disposed of, paint can pollute groundwater and disrupt the sewage treatment process.
2. Paint can harm fish and other wildlife if it enters storm drains or other bodies of water.
3. Paint will contaminate other recyclable materials if mixed with household garbage.
4. Paint can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs and cause nausea or headaches.
BENEFITS OF RECYCLING PAINT
1. Recycled paint is available in comparable grades and colors of newly produced paint. Recycled paint is often sold at a lower price.
2. Recycled paint can be mixed with thickening and anti-mildew additives that give it the same usability as new paint.
3. Depending on location, latex paint is treated as a household hazardous waste, necessitating special disposal. Recycling and reusing paint in these areas is a more convenient and responsible option.
4. In locations where paint is not restricted as a hazardous waste, leftover paint takes up landfill space, despite remaining a usable product.
RECYCLED PAINT PROCESS
1. Recycled paint is first filtered to remove any solids.
2. Filtered paint is usually mixed with new white paint, creating a mix made of 50 percent recycled content.
3. Pigments are added to the recycled paint mix to achieve desired color.
4. Additives are mixed in to restore old, recycled paint to a stable pH level.
RESPONSIBLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
1. Before purchasing new latex paint, carefully calculate the amount you will need to avoid waste. Ask retailers their return policy on unused, unopened paint cans.
2. Practice safe cleaning of paintbrushes and applicators. Paint accessories that are cleaned in the street or in a backyard could contaminate soil or storm water.
3. Purchase recycled paint if available, and locate processors who recycle unused latex paint.
4. Some areas and states restrict the disposal of paint into the municipal waste stream. If you are allowed to dispose of paint with household trash, dry small amounts by mixing it with kitty litter or pouring it in layers into a lined box.
5. Donate latex paint to local schools, churches, or charities. These organizations may use paint for projects or small renovations for those in need.
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