Disposing of old paint : Outline
How do I dispose of old paint?
The environmental impact of waste paint and paint containers has only relatively recently become a concern in the UK . The paint manufacturing industry has been active in trying to minimise the impact of its product on the environment through a policy of product stewardship and has worked closely with the National Household Hazardous Waste Forum on definitions, paint, and paint containers.
The most effective way to control the impact of paint on the environment is to limit the amount of surplus or unused material being disposed of as waste. Consumers should be encouraged to only buy the correct amount of paint needed for the job and most retailers should be able to offer advice on this.
It is always better to find a reuse for paint rather than disposing of it. Paint is expensive, so people can often store it for later use which can lead to it having to be disposed of at a later date.
Alternatively you could offer any remaining paint to a friend or donate it to a community repaint scheme.
Waste paint such as dried paint, is not suitable for reuse or recycling and will need to be disposed of. Paint should not be disposed of in liquid form and should never be poured down drains or into water courses or put into your bin in a sealed can, as it could leak and contaminate collection vehicles or other recyclables. Small quantities of liquid material should be allowed to dry out or to spread onto an absorbent mat before being put into the bin.
Larger quantities of paint can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. They will then be placed into an appropriate container to be disposed of in the correct way.
More information on Environmental Guidelines and the safe disposal of paint is available at www.wasteonline.org.uk