Hints & HELP!
by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the August 29,
2004 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
fall approaches cleaning the garage and storage areas is
a top priority. What to do with the leftover paint and paint
products setting around the house is many times a question.
paints and paint related products fall in the category of
potentially hazardous products. Products become potentially
hazardous when they contain chemicals that can endanger
human health or the environment if not properly used, stored
average American home has one to three gallons of unwanted
paint stored. Forty to 70 percent of household hazardous
waste collected at special collection events is paint. Source
reduction is a priority in the prevention of paint waste.
is classified into two basic categories: latex, in which
the major liquid ingredient is water; and solvent-base,
which contains organic solvents. Water-base paints include
latex, vinyl and acrylic. Solvent-base paints include alkyd,
oil-based, urethane or polyurethane, epoxy and varnish.
reduce household paint waste:
Buy only what is needed and try to use all the paint purchased.
Buy the least hazardous product and buy the product for
the specific job and material.
Use it up, give it away to friends or donate it to charity.
Use leftover paint and paint related products.
Keep paints tightly sealed in the original can.
paint in a well ventilated, dry area away from extreme heat,
cold or flame sources and out of the reach of children.
Do not discard paint on the ground or down a drain or storm
shared or donated should meet the following criteria:
useable quantity remains;
paint is still in its original container with legible
paint that has not frozen (Latex paint that has undergone
freeze/thaw several times may resemble "cottage cheese.");
paint has not been contaminated with other products;
paint is lead free (check label on old paints).
quantities of unusable paints (less than one-half gallon)
that have dried and solidified are usually considered a
household waste material and are accepted (check first)
at most permitted landfills. To solidify the paint, allow
the liquid to evaporate in an OPEN, secure, sheltered place
in a SAFE manner away from flames, children and pets. Then,
dispose of the hardened material.
more information on this topic, read:
to Household Hints & HELP