Did you know that paint is a hazardous waste? Well, it is. It doesn’t matter whether it’s oil or water based it still contains chemicals, such as solvents and metals, that can harm the environment and endanger human health if disposed of improperly. Paint should never be poured down the drain; many of the chemicals in it can’t be treated by sewage plants - and even worse, if it’s a rainwater drain the untreated chemicals could be discharged into lakes, streams or groundwater and cause contamination.
Likewise it should never be put out with household waste. Eventually, household waste is compacted, which will release paint from the tin. In a landfill, the paint will be carried by water seeping through the garbage and could easily contaminate groundwater. For this reason liquids are generally not allowed in landfill.
What to do? Well, the best way to avoid this problem is to use it all up for it’s original purpose. And if you can’t do that you can recycle it. Oh Yes you can!
Business Waste reckon that medium sized commercial painting and decorating companies could save up to £10,000 per year by recycling their unused paint through paint swap schemes and sharing resources.
Mark Hall said “even a one-woman-band painting and decorating contractor can save thousands every year in waste site gate fees - teaming up with their local competitors and colleagues means that they needn’t throw that excess paint into the skip”.
In fact, paint giants Dulux reckon 55 million litres of paint and 90 million containers are wasted every year both domestically and through the trade, but go on to point out the seventy or so Community Re-paint schemes dotted around the UK.
Here in Redbridge, our council has teamed up with the Forest Recycling Project, based in Hoe Street Walthamstow, who are part of the Community Re-Paint scheme. The recycled paint is Free for community not-for-profit organisations and for the public or contractors from as little as £1 per litre.
To donate paint the easiest options are Jenkins Lane for the south of the borough or Chigwell Road in the north. Jenkins Lane is just over the border in Newham but we are both part of the East London Waste authority.
To buy paint it’s a trip to Walthamstow at Forest Recycling, or Recycles Ilford at the Salvation Army Barracks but you would need to check their opening times.
And finally we know of one local Barkingside contractor who uses only recycled paint, and she has featured before on this site and will be coming to talk to us at our March Coffee Morning.