How to Safely Dispose of Paint in Ottawa
Whether you’re painting a beautiful landscape or beautifying your interior walls, paint is toxic and full of chemicals. Therefore, it is important that you dispose of it responsibly to help protect Ottawa’s environment. To make things easier for you, here are a few ways you can safely and adequately dispose of unwanted paint.
Ottawa’s Take it Back! Program
As oil and wet latex paints can’t be disposed of in the regular garbage, it is important to bring them to one of these locations participating in Ottawa’s Take it Back! Program. They’ll accept your paint for reuse, recycling, or disposal if necessary, and it is required that you call in advance to ensure you don’t exceed their drop-off limit. Home renovation retailers and stores specializing in paint are always a safe bet for proper disposal.
Dry Latex Paint Garbage Disposal
While wet and unused latex paint is hazardous and can’t be disposed of in the regular garbage, drying out rectifies this problem. Latex paint is less detrimental to our environment due to containing fewer hazardous ingredients, and when dry, they are essentially harmless. Bear in mind that they still contain acrylics, vinyls, and epoxies, so you can’t just pour it down the drain. To quickly dry out latex paint for garbage disposal, try adding equal parts cat litter to the can (one part paint to one part litter). This will suck the moisture and toxicity out of the paint, clumping it with the litter and making it safe to simply chuck in the garbage.
The City of Ottawa’s Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program accepts all hazardous paints and other toxic items for immediate disposal. While they operate on an infrequent and erratic schedule at times, they often set up shop near primarily residential areas to ensure more citizens can recycle responsibly. By “making the drop” and visiting their sites when in operation (check the link above for dates and locations), you’ll be disposing of various paints responsibly by giving them directly back to the city. As with all disposals of paint, ensure that they are fully contained in closed original containers and not mixed.
There are fewer locations and methods of disposing of paint, so it is important that you opt for the right location, program, or method to recycle unwanted paints in an environmentally harmless manner. If all else fails, however, start a new painting project!