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A Guide to Recycling Paint

When it comes to doing a bit of decorating at home, it’s very rare that you manage to buy the exact amount of paint that you need. That’s not a problem with white emulsion, because we always need more of that. 

But what if you’ve bought a special colour for that feature wall or chimney breast that’s going to need half the smallest tin available at most? Or you want to do one room, and one room only, in Botanical Noir and you end up needing exactly one and a half tins?

The point is, we all end up with leftover paint we don’t know what to do with. So what are our choices? 

First of all, let’s rule out just throwing it away. Paint is a hazardous material and should never be disposed of in its liquid form, including in skips. It’s actually illegal (as well as environmentally criminal) to put it in landfill.

If you really, absolutely, have no other choice but to throw it away, then you have to harden it first. This can be done by adding sawdust, sand or soil to the paint until it solidifies. Put the lid back on, pierce it a few times (this ensures it’s fully hardened) and then you can take it to general waste or place it in a skip.

So, if we’re all agreed that throwing unused paint away should be an act of last resort, what are our other choices?



Hide it in the Garage or the Loft

We all do this, on the off chance that we might actually need it again at some point in the distant future, but we hardly ever do. According to Community Repaint (of whom more shortly), the average household has 17 part-used tins of paint stored somewhere around the home. Eventually, when we get round to having a clear out, getting rid of them all (not to mention all those little tester pots!) suddenly becomes more urgent. At which point, we…


Try to unload it onto our Friends and Family

Let’s face it, trying to convince your mother that her bathroom would look far better in that gunmetal grey that looks fantastic in your spare bedroom is never going to happen. But someone might want it, so…


Give it to Someone Else

Because some clever and resourceful people have noticed that this issue with unused and unwanted paint has become more and more of a problem, there now exist a number of websites that aim to connect your unused paint with someone who can make use of it. One great site doing this is Community Repaint, which connects homes and businesses with paint they don’t need with people and community organisations who do need it.

They generally have drop-off points at household waste recycling centres, which makes it really straightforward to pass them on – you can check your nearest participating recycling centre on their website.

Alternatively, why not advertise your unused paint on a site like Freecycle or even on Facebook’s Marketplace? Because, you never know, someone might have a wall that would look great in gunmetal grey.

At CSH Environmental, we believe in doing everything to make sure that everything that crosses our path that can be recycled is recycled. Our state of the art recycling centre commitment to ‘zero to landfill’ means that we currently divert about 98% of the waste we collect away from landfill. To find out more about our waste management services or recycling with CSH Environmental, contact us today.

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