Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paint Recycling Picks Up Steam

Paint Recycling Picks Up Steam

Over 700,000 gallons of paint have been recycled since PaintCare began in July 2010. Photo: Flickr

There’s really no way around it. Virtually zero paint retailers offer an option to buy only as much paint as you need.
That means, after your room is painted, you’re left with a few pints of paint and nothing to do with it.

Luckily, latex paint is recyclable, and to some degree, so are oil-based products. They can be used in the process of cement manufacturing, or be burned as fuel to produce energy, though that’s an expensive option.

Environmentally-savvy consumers are recognizing this in larger numbers. Since its inception in July 2010, Oregon-based paint recycler PaintCare, a non-profit associated that manages the Oregon Paint Stewardship Program, has collected 700,000 gallons of latex and oil-based paint from Oregon citizens and construction companies. PaintCare has also will also handle similar programs in California (starting in September) and Connecticut (before July, 2013).
So why is paint recycling important? For one, latex paint can become new, different products that can be used for a multitude of purposes, including cement, concrete and new paint – a far better option than running used paint down the drain.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 10 percent of all paint that is purchased will be discarded. That means between 65 and 69 million gallons of paint find their way to hazardous collection programs, or worse, are disposed of improperly

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