Paint and Coatings as Waste
Solvent-based paint wastes must typically be managed as dangerous wastes.
These include thinners, clean-up solvents, waste paints, and some paint booth
filters. Some waterborne coatings may also designate as dangerous waste. Containers for these wastes must be kept closed when not in use. They
must be stored, counted, labeled, and reported according to dangerous waste
Paint Booth Filters can be
Here is a list of tips that may be useful in your painting or
- Buy only as much paint as you need.
- Mix and use the least amount of coating possible. Don't get in the habit of
mixing a standard amount of paint for every job (1 quart, 1 pint, etc.). Mix
only what you will use.
- Give leftover paint to customers for touch-ups.
- Return unused paint to the manufacturer if it is not past the expiration
date. It may be possible to sell it through an industrial materials exchange
service, as well.
- If possible, reduce the number of different coatings and colors you use.
- Use water-borne primers and stay informed about new developments in
water-based top coats.
- Use optimum gun settings and spray tips for each job.
- Where possible, choose thin coatings using heat rather than solvents.
- Use disposable liners for paint containers and spray gun cups. Disposing of
liners creates less waste than disposing of rinsing material.
- Schedule jobs in batches to reduce number of cleanups.
Spray-paint transfer-efficiency trainings can save paint and money. Operator technique causes spray gun efficiency to vary up to 50 percent and
affects the quality of your product. Training and experience makes more of a
difference than just the type of equipment used.
Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) coordinates STAR®
transfer-efficiency trainings for businesses and technical training
institutions in Washington state. Contact Project Manager Ken Grimm at
PPRC, (206) 352-2050 or by
The Iowa Waste
Reduction Center developed the STAR® system, and offers information on the
program, including an
online training module and the
LaserPaint training aid.
Wastes links to a section in the Dangerous Waste Shop Guide, an Ecology publication
Materials Exchange is a clearinghouse for excess materials.