Almost everyone is tempted to pour left-over paint down the drain or sewer and then toss the empty paint can into the trash. We at The Paint Doctor ask, however, that you don’t do that. Improper paint disposal can be environmentally hazardous, harm plant and animal life, and may even pollute drinking water. Besides, throwing away all of your leftover paint will not allow for touchups down the road. Listed below are some of The Paint Doctor’s simple tips for safely disposing paint and for finding recycling centers.
Disposing water-based paints:
- Get a paper bag or cardboard box and fill it with kitty litter, sawdust, or sand.
- Slowly pour the leftover paint over the kitty litter, giving it time to absorb. Give the paint a chance to completely dry in a well ventilated area, away from kids, pets and heat sources.
- Once the paint is dry, you can throw it away in the outside garbage. The City of Atlanta requires that the lid be off the paint can and that only empty paint cans or cans with solidified paint can be put into the garbage container.
Disposing oil-based paints, which is hazardous waste:
- Never dispose of oil-based paints or solvents in the regular garbage or by pouring them down the sink.
- Check if your community has hazardous waste collections for items such as paints. The City of Atlanta does not offer hazardous waste disposal. To find recycling drop-off sites near your home or office, for items not accepted curbside, check out: www.earth911.com and http://www.recyclingcenters.org/
- For more information on how to properly dispose of oil-based paints and other paint information you can visit www.paint.org.
- A company called Atlanta Paint Disposal will dispose of your paint for a fee. There is a 10-20 gallon minimum and the fee starts at $2 gallon. For more information, visit http://www.atlantapaintdisposal.com/ or call 404-556-3940.
- Another company, 1-800-GOTJUNK (1-800-468-5865), usually hauls away stuff, but will remove paint and chemicals for a surcharge: $5.00 per gallon and a $90.00 minimum.
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