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How to dispose of paint and white spirit properly

Paint and white spirits are toxic substances which are harmful to people and the environment if not disposed of properly. It can contaminate ground water, alter flora and fauna or even destroy the environment. We tell you how to dispose of paint and white spirit properly to avoid harming the environment.

Keep in mind

When you are done painting, you usually clean your paint brushes with white spirit. The residues should not be thrown for it can damage the environment. Take note of the following tips to make sure you know how to dispose of paint and white spirit properly:

  • Read the disposal instructions carefully

At the back of the paint or white spirit you are using, you will find a note which tells you how to get rid of residues and leftovers. As a standard instruction, it will warn users to handle the substance carefully and to make sure it is not dumped on the ground or the bin.

  • Donate

Apart from bringing used paint and white spirit to the recycling centre nearest to your location, you can also donate the rest of unused paint to the church or community service that can make use of these materials.

  • Recycle

You can also re-use extra paint that you have for any future projects you might have at home. However, bear in mind that once a can of paint is opened, you can only keep it for a certain period before it dries up. In this case, your best bet is still to donate any leftovers to someone who might still be able to use it. Advertise your free paint and white spirit. Call groups like Community Repaint which is a reuse paint scheme in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Project staff and volunteers will collect your paint and redistribute them to the needy.

Additional tips

It is not only important to know how to dispose of paint and white spirit properly, you also have to know how to handle them. For example, do not pour oil or paint residues down the drain. Once done with washing your paint brushes with white spirit, don’t throw the used mixture in the soil or the drain. Instead you can take them to the recycling centre or reuse them.

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