Many household and commercial products contain chemicals that can create hazardous conditions for humans and the environment. Because of this, a number of steps are necessary for a safe and proper disposal of such industrial chemicals. Even though the chemicals will always have some sort of impact, it is extremely important to reduce that impact as much as possible. In order to do that, it is crucial to identify the proper disposal method. You can start with:
1. Read the product label
Some chemical products, such as most paint, come with disposal instructions right on the label and following those instructions should be enough. Even for products without disposal instructions, you should still read the labels so you can be aware of the warnings and cautions you need to consider when handling those products.
Items such as batteries and light bulbs have to be recycled at special recycling centers.
Never mix paint or cleaning products together. If you only have a small amount of liquid left in each bottle, it may be tempting to mix them into one bottle for disposal. Different chemicals can react with each other to form very hazardous fumes and noxious gases.
2. Read the Safety Data Sheet
Safety data sheets provide information on chemical products that help users of those chemicals to assess its risk. They describe the hazards the chemical presents, and give information on handling, storage and emergency measures in case of accident.
By law suppliers of chemicals must provide an up to date safety data sheet if the substance supplied can be dangerous.
3. Use proper safety precautions
When dealing with any chemicals, you should always wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants, goggles, and closed-toe shoes. You want to minimize skin exposure as much as possible. Chemicals, such as paint and paint thinners, often emit noxious fumes, so you want to work in a well-ventilated area
Where can you dispose of unused paint or other liquid chemicals?
If you are unsure on where you can dispose of a small or large amount of paint, thinner or other liquid chemical, it is a good idea to get in contact with your local council. For sure they have a website that may already have loads of information or a search function to look for professional hazardous waste disposal companies in your area.
Many commercial recyclers offer paint and solvent recycling and services a wide variety of industries. Lead based paints may not be accepted and it is advisable to check with the recycler before. There are also a number of operators, such as chemical collection services that can provide safe disposal of paint where recycling is not possible.
Most scrap metal recyclers will accept empty unwanted steel paint cans, although some of them may not take tins that contained lead paint.
You will find that most paint and solvent disposal units near you use the simple process of distillation. Excess paint is poured into the machine’s plastic liner and the lid is closed. The paint is heated until the solvent boils into a vapour and the paint residue is collected as a powder. The vapour is then cooled and the solvent drips into a collection tank to be reused. The paint solids retrieved during the recycling process can be reformulated into quality paint coatings.
How do I find out where to take my old paint tins?
It’s surprisingly easy, although there are limitations on what some disposal facilities can accept.
For customers in England and Wales, you can search for you nearest centre here https://www.gov.uk/hazardous-waste-disposal
For customers in Scotland, this site will help you locate a recycling centre https://www.recycleforscotland.com/what-to-do-with/paint
It is also worth considering that if you have some unopened cans of paint, provided they are less than a year old, why don’t you donate them to a good cause? Schools, voluntary centres, scout groups, youth groups and more may be happy to accept the paint that can still be used.
If you don’t know anyone that you can pass the paint on to, it is worth checking out the community repaint scheme.
If you are looking for a one-step solution to dispose of old paint or other chemicals near you, get in contact with us. All Waste Matters can offer your company the complete paint disposal service. From collection to disposal your waste paint is handled within latest regs.
We are a licensed paint disposal company based in the UK. We have our own collection vehicles and licensed paint recycling centre. This means your disposal of paint is done with minimum impact and traced to its eventual disposal.