Why is paint waste a problem?
All painting jobs create wastes that can harm humans, waterways, fish and other wildlife if handled or disposed improperly. Paints and paint waste can enter storm drains from runoff or improper disposal. Storm drains carry untreated pollutants directly into local streams and rivers, harming aquatic plants, animals, fish and those who eat the fish.
Why should you be concerned?
Aside from causing environmental damage, improper disposal violates Federal, and Utah State Regulations of which specifically prohibit the improper disposal of wastes and contamination of waters and provide for civil and criminal penalties for violators. Most painters manage wastes responsibly, but sometimes disposal options can be confusing. This brochure is designed to help you prevent, reduce, recycle or safely dispose of common painting wastes. The result will be happier customers who appreciate your concern for their property and a safer environment.
What is paint waste?
• Solvents (water, mineral spirits, toluene)
• Oil-based paint
• Latex paint
• Paint chips/dust
• Paint and solvent containers
What can you do with usable leftover paint?
• Check into donating leftover paint to local theaters, schools, clubs or churches.
• Give small amounts of paint left over at the end of a job to the customer for touch up.
• Combine light-colored leftover paints for use as primer on future jobs.
• Dispose of unwanted oil-based paint at a permitted hazardous waste management facility.
• Allow paint solids in used solvents to settle so the clear portion can be poured off and reused.
• Dispose of spent solvents at a permitted hazardous waste management facility.
• Use the least toxic cleanup solvent available.
• Don’t pour oil-based or latex waste paint or clean-up materials onto the ground.
• Don’t pour any paint or clean-up materials into storm drains, ditches, gutters, catch basins, dry wells, creeks or other surface water drainage.
• Don’t (unless authorized to do so from your local Solid Waste Authority) put liquid paint, solvent or clean-up waste in garbage cans or dumpsters.
Other paint job waste
• Remove lids from empty latex containers and allow the contents to dry out. Dispose of lids and dry containers in the garbage.
• Allow rags to dry thoroughly and dispose in the garbage.
• Dispose of paint chips and dust properly. For information, contact the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
• Most paint strippers are hazardous and should be disposed as hazardous waste.
Common sense tips and guidelines
• Purchase only the amount of paint needed for each job.
• Use latex paint whenever possible.
• Use tarps and drip pans to collect paint and solvent spills.
• Keep containers tightly sealed when not in use to avoid spills.
• Avoid contaminating ground surface with paint chips and dust.
• Use high-efficiency spray guns to minimize overspray.
• Train employees and subcontractors to handle paint waste properly.
• Store leftover latex paint, oil-based paint and solvents separately in original or clearly marked containers.