Eco-safe paint disposal

13 Apr 2012

Proper clean up and disposal of paint after décor painting projects is essential. If incorrectly disposed of, paint can become an environmental hazard. 

Often, chemicals from paint equipment get washed into storm water drains and end up finding their way into natural waterways, where they threaten the survival of aquatic life and contaminate the soil.

Marketing Director of Prominent Paints, Eduard Ferreira says as a subsidiary of PPG, Prominent Paints is committed to manufacturing and marketing paint products that are 100% lead free, adhere to international best practices and recognize and promote the drive towards environmental sustainability. 

They also try to do their bit for the environment by recycling most of their daily operational waste.Often, chemicals from paint equipment get washed into storm water drains and end up finding their way into natural waterways, where they threaten the survival of aquatic life and contaminate the soil. 

Developing a cleaning system and being mindful of the environment when disposing of paint can offset the damage that has already been done. 

Ferreira gives some advice on the safest ways to clean up and dispose of paint:

Water-based paints

Once you’ve finished with a painting project, wipe or squeeze off excess paint onto absorbent material like an old rag, newspaper or cardboard box.

Allow the absorbent material to dry and dispose of it with the household waste.

The next step is to wash the paint equipment in a disposable container, rather than under a running tap, to save water.

Developing a cleaning system and being mindful of the environment when disposing of paint can offset the damage that has already been done.

From there, you can transfer the washed items into a second container filled with water for a second rinse.

Cover the first container, with dirty water, using a lid and let it stand overnight.

By morning the paint solids in the first container will have settled to the bottom of the container. You can use the clear water from this container to water the garden but be careful not to use any of the settled paint solids.

To safely dispose of the paint solids scrape out the bottom of the first container onto absorbent material. Allow it to dry before tying it up in a plastic bag and disposing of it with the household waste.

Alternatively, you could take it directly to the nearest council landfill.

If you have more painting to do, the second container can now be used as the first wash container.

Use this rotation system until the job is completed.

Solvent-based paints

Solvent-based paint can be disposed off in a similar manner, but with a few exceptions.

Instead of using water to clean your painting equipment, use mineral turpentine or another recommended agent.

Because solvent-based paint solids take longer to settle, allow the first container to stand for at least 24 hours, and then add the turpentine.

The left over turpentine can be used to top up the second container or be kept for future use.

Dawid du Plessis, Technical & Customer Care Manager at Prominent Paints says everyone can assist in keeping the environmental impact of their decorating projects to a minimum by following these few easy tips.  

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