Clowns Are So Happy About This Fact

What would the world be like without face paint…or just paint for that matter?

And why it is important to recycle your unused paint

Close-up of a blue paint can

Left over paint in the can

Do you know that you can recycle your unused paint; that recycled paint is actually reused somewhere else in the world?

Even if you don’t live here in Boise, Idaho your local government may have a recycling program to keep chemicals out of the trash.

So what are your options for old paint? Well, it depends on what type of paint (oil or latex), the condition it is in, and potentially the amount you have.

Small Amounts

Close-up of woman smiling holding a paint bucket

Paint ready for the recycler

If you have only a small amount of paint left in a can t

hen it is probably best to solidify

it using one of two methods and then dispose of it in the trash. Once the paint is solid it is no longer hazardous.

  • open the can and let the paint harden on its own
  • mix it with some dirt or kitty litter to speed the hardening process. There are also commercially available products that do the same job as the dirt and litter.


Recycling larger amounts of paint

Here in Boise our local recycling program recycles both oil based and latex based paint.  It is shipped to one of two places here in the US, depending on which type of paint it is.

Recycling Latex Paint

The paint is stored and shipped in the original container to GDB International in Illinois. GDB is one of the world’s largest paint recyclers – they recycle something like 8,000 gallons of paint a day. Check out their page on recycled paint. Wow, that would keep a lot of clowns in face paint for sure! They sort the paint according to color and then reformulate it into new paint that is then repackaged into 1 and 5 Gallon containers. This new paint is then shipped throughout the world where it is sold as mis-tinted paint.

Recycling Oil Paint

This paint is shipped to Systech Environmental Services in Kansas, which also receives other hazardous and non-hazardous fuel-quality wastes. These are all combined to make wasted derived fuel, which is then used to fire cement kilns.

Wow, who knew?

I’ve always been a big fan of recycling everything I can. I hope that you are too. Let’s keep this stuff out of our landfill and used up as much as possible.


About handymanlou

Boise, ID native, USNavy veteran, survivor of 26yrs at Hewlett Packard (during the good years), love to tinker, take apart and put back together (without extra pieces left over), gardener, amateur landscaper, love to fish for trout, crappie, smallmouth bass, catfish, and just about anything else that swims in fresh water. I would like to do more woodworking with my Shopsmith but there's so much other stuff to do that I also like and love.
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