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The Right Way to Recycle: An Essential Guide

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Recycle Definition

Whether you’re an expert homeowner looking to spruce up your walls with a fresh coat of paint, or you recently purchased your first home and you’re eager to personalize the interior, chances are you’ll end up with empty paint cans when the job is over.

If you’ve never had to deal with paint cans before, you probably don’t know how to get rid of them when the time comes. Do you know what to do with your unwanted paint cans? Know how to recycle paint cans.

The term recycle is one of those words that sounds exactly like its meaning. When you hear someone say they are recycling, you assume they are throwing something into a bright blue container.

Recycle is like garbage, but reusable, right? Well, yes. But there is so much more to the recycling process than just sending unwanted recyclables away, never to see or deal with them again.

Cups With Paint And Brushes

Tips on Recycling Paint

According to the experts at Lowe’s, a reputable home furnishing store, there are ways to get rid of paint cans that don’t involve a trip to your local recycling center. If you are the do-it-yourself type of person, then these tips and tricks are for you!

Disposing of paint cans is serious business. Paint is chalk-full of chemicals that can cause a great deal of harm if introduced to the environment. The three kinds of paint require different disposal processes.

Here is a little trick you can keep up your sleeve for when you need to get rid of latex and water-based paints. Take the paint can with the remaining liquid and pour an equal amount of cat litter into the can. Mix the paint and cat litter together until it clumps. The point is to make sure the paint is not a runny liquid.

Once the mixture has sat in open air for about an hour, it should be dried and ready for disposal. If it is still a little thin and watery, give it more time to harden. As long as you’ve combined the latex or water-based paint with cat litter and allowed it to dry, you can throw it away in the garbage.

Just remember that it is not okay to throw wet paint directly into the trash. The chemicals will seep through the plastic bag and cause a lot of damage, not only to the environment, but to everyone in close proximity, too.

While you can use a home remedy to get rid of unwanted latex and water-based paints, the same does not go for oil-based paints. Oil-based paints need to be handled differently than latex paints. They are considered especially harmful and even more dangerous than latex paints. Therefore, you must make sure your oil-based paints are transported to a recycling center.

You may not like the idea of transporting paints to a recycling center. This reality means you’ll have to find time in your busy schedule to deal with items you don’t even want in the first place. But just because they need to be handled professionally does not mean you have to be the one to take them to a recycling center.

Companies like $99 Junk Removal are the professionals you need in your life. They’ll lend their helping hands and take the unwanted paint off yours. Once they arrive, they pick up your unwanted recyclable items and transfer them to the appropriate handling facility for you. All you do is pay a flat-fee for their services and they take care of the rest.

Wall With Grafitti

Where To Recycle

If you do choose to take your paint cans to a recycling center on your own time, you’ll want to know where to go. The closer the center is to your house, the less stressful it’ll be to find time to make the trip.

When looking for a recycling center, make sure you double check that the center you’re considering will accept paint. While most recycling centers allow drop-offs of paint, not all do. So, how do you find out whether or not paint is prohibited at a recycling center?

A simple Google search along the lines of “paint recycling center near me” or “recycling paint cans near me” will pull up some options. You can also try “paint recycling near me” or “recycling centers” followed by your location.

If you take a look at the King County Government Recycling website, you’ll have the chance to look at all the recycling centers in and around Seattle. If you click on the drop-down menu, you can choose the city closest to you, or if you’re lucky, the one you actually live in.

For example, let’s say you select Mercer Island as your neighborhood. From there, a new page will load and display the recycling center nearest you. For Mercer Island residents, the Factoria Recycling & Transfer Station is the closest in distance.

When you scroll down the page, you’ll see that every possible recyclable material is listed. They are all put into categories based on whether they are accepted for disposal, accepted as recycle, or prohibited entirely.

Wet paints, no matter the base, are prohibited at all recycling centers. Water-based and latex paints are eligible for recycle at recycling centers as long as they are dried.

Oil-based paints are only accepted at the Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station, as long as they are dried prior to being dropped off. They will only be accepted by the recycling center and not for disposal at the dump site. No other King County recycling center accepts oil-based paints, even when dried.

There are numerous recycling centers all over the world. When the time comes, search for recycling centers near you or locate the nearest junk removal service if you want outside assistance. No matter where you live, your home improvement clean-up will be no trouble.