I promised some more details on paint recycling in my post this morning about our visit to the local recycling centre.
In my mind I could see a specially designated area for paint recycling. I knew I had seen it before, near to the household chemical area.
Now either I was exceptionally tired or someone had stolen the paint recycling area yesterday!
I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Thankfully, a friendly member of staff could see me having a ‘ blank stare’ moment and came over to help. When I asked him where to put the paint tins he said ‘They go into non-recyclable; into the landfill.’
I questioned him on this. ‘But you used to have paint recycling!’ I exclaimed.
He went on to tell me that they have since done away with a separate area for paint. He said that because most modern paint is such low toxicity, there is no need to dispose of it separately.
When it was recycled separately; in the days of lead paint et al, I was informed that all they did was dump it into steel containers underneath the ground.
Now paint is considered such a low hazzard that it is ‘safe’ to put it into landfill where it causes little damage to the environment.
I was a bit shocked, I don’t mind admitting.
Fortunately, as you’ll have read, someone at the recycling centre saved me from my conscience. He was jazzing up a local nursery with a bright mural for the children to enjoy, so he happily relieved me of our bright coloured paints.
I also wrote about a great scheme in the UK called Community RePaint the other week. I duly typed in my postcode for donating my old paint and found the nearest collection point to me was over 40 miles away. Sadly, this wasn’t an option for us, so into the landfill our 3 remaining half tubs of paint went. I had already tried them on Freecycle, to no avail.
At least some of the paint was put to good reuse before the rest of it was landfilled.
What about you – does your local recycling facility have a designated area for paint recycling?
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