In my shed, like in so many others, I have old cans of paint. They sit there, waggling their accusatory non-existent fingers at me and say “so you wanna be green huh? hahahahha – so what are you going to do with us.. go on, just put us in landfill, we won’t tell!”
I hate to think the toxins that are in these old half empty paint cans. I know we have toxic waste dumping facilities across the other side of town, but it’s a long way to travel and I really don’t know what they do with the stuff.
This story on CNN gave me heart – it’s about San Francisco’s paint recycling initiative. They recycle about 30,000 gallons of latex paint every year! The paint is split into various color ranges, then blended and tinted into a few colors. The paint is then given away to anyone who wants it and some of the paint is even sent to other countries where people and organizations without the means to purchase paint benefit from it.
What a wonderful idea! Sure, it doesn’t make it any less toxic by doing this; but what would usually be wasted and dumped is given extra life, decreasing the amount of new paint needing to be bought.
As I discovered when looking into this further, San Francisco isn’t the only city with paint recycling initiatives. If you’re suffering a similar dilemma to me, run a search in your favorite search engine on the terms:
“paint recycling” cityname
.. where cityname is the name of your location. You might find a similar program operating near you! My cans will sit where they are a little longer until such an initiative is operating here.