I bet you didn’t know that you can now recycle Latex paint! But you can and we have. Latex paints have come a long way and are currently dominating the market but this just means that we need to know how to correctly dispose of them. That’s why we are here to help you!
Why it shouldn’t go in the landfill
Oil-based paints, stains, and paint removers qualify as household hazardous waste due to the chemicals that can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. These items should not be disposed in the trash or down the drain but instead be taken to any household hazardous waste collection facility.
However, Latex (water-based) paints are not considered hazardous and will not be accepted at those collection facilities. And though, you can place empty metal paint cans in your garbage only if the latex paint has been dried out or solidified first, there is another solution we have for you. But first, you need to understand why dumping Latex paint before it has been dried out is an issue.
When the Latex paint is still in liquid form, it can be a hazard by plugging or damaging septic fields, which overloads sewage treatment plants, and creates environmental hazards on the ground. And, so you need to dry out your Latex paints before throwing them away. Lucky for you, we have three tips on how you can do this.
The first option is to remove the lid and let the paint dry out in the can. Make sure you protect it from rain and this only works if you have less than inch of paint left in the can or you are in a warmer climate. The second option is to mix the Latex paint with an equal amount of clay-based cat litter. It should take about 10 minutes to harden after you mix it and leave it to dry. Make sure the material is thick, though!. The third option is to use a paint hardener. You can follow the specific instructions directed on the commercial paint hardener. Once the latex paint has hardened or solidified, you can place the can with the lid off in your garbage container.
What happens when it gets recycled
We know that drying out paint can be a lengthy process so were thrilled when recycling latex paint became an option in Washington state. The first step in recycling latex paint is when the processor sorts, screens, and filters the paint to ensure that it meets the quality standards. Then, they mix it with similar paint colors and tint them to create a recycled paint product so it can be used again!
Recycled latex paint is often much cheaper than brand new paint and works just as well. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity buy this kind of paint, but you can too at many paint stores across the country.
As an added bonus, all of the paint cans are crushed and sent to recycling facilities. So not only are you saving paint from reaching our landfills, but the cans too!
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