Time to Part With That Household Paint Collection

Your left over paint: Do It Yourself Instructions for Recycling Paint in Athens:

1. Lay out plastic film in a well ventilated area. We suggest 4 mil polyfilm spread out in A CONTAINMENT enclosure; such as bracked 4 x 4 posts nailed together.

2. Pour out left over paint over the plastic. Take care to keep the paint no thicker than 1/8 of an inch. Spread out the paint with a stir stick or make shift spreader made of cardboard.

3. Allow paint to dry; this should be 12-48 hours depending on temperature and humidity.

4. Completely dried out latex paint and stain can be picked up by most garbage collection services; check  regulations in Athens.

Every Athens residential painting project should have some left over paint or stain. It is a good idea to have one or two gallons of touch up paints available in case the substrates are damaged or high traffic need “freshening” before the next major painting job. However larger quantities should be re-used on other projects, donated to charity, or recycled. Facts about the amount of left over paint in the US: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculates that annually nearly 70 million gallons of paint are left over in the United States. Imagine 27.6 billion square feet each and every year (303 square miles).

Check the label. Paint manufactured before 1978 could contain lead, and many paints made before 1991 could contain mercury. Both materials should be listed on the paint label. Coatings containing lead or mercury should be taken to a household-hazardous-waste collection facility. Recycle it. Some city/municipalities offer recycling programs for old paint and empty paint cans. Water-based, or latex, coating can be recycled into a new coating or it can even be used to create nonpaint products such as cement. Oil-based, or alkyd, coatings are usually used for fuel blending-meaning it’s burned to create energy at a power plant. To find out whether paint recycling is an option in Athens, contact your municipal recycling or household-hazardous-waste center.

once latex paint has dried, it can be safely disposed of in the garbage or in a Athens waste facility. Cans can also be dried out and disposed. Water-based paint is treated as hazardous in only a few states-including California, Washington and Minnesota-and is still generally accepted at hazardous-waste facilities.  Oil-based coating is always considered hazardous and should be disposed of at a household-hazardous-waste collection facility. Many reputable Athens painting contractors will recycle your left over coatings and solvents.

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