Geting rid of waste.

Tom Widney

LOVES Wooden Canoes
After finaly finishing a restore an an ABS hull with wooden trim and seats, I have a varity of varnishing and painting waste products in varying forms from liquid to sludge. Being some what excited and involved with the project I didn't think about the disposal of such waste before hand, there is more of it than I would feel comfortable about just trashing or tossing.

I am considering trying to save some of the mineral spirits but not quite sure of how to go about it. I could use some advice on that one.

I've considered pouring the unwanted liquid via a funnel into an empty one gal mineral spirits can, then taking it to the hazardess waste place in town when full. Have not a clue of what to do about the sludge like stuff that don't seem to want to go all nice and neat down the little hole in the funnel.

iI really can't see me producing more than any slow hobbiest so the quanitys should take a while to reach the gallon stage

Thanks for any and all suggestions on how to go about solving my delimma

Regulations and practices for handling these kinds of wastes vary from place to place -- so the best source of information is local. Does your town collect waste, or is it done by private contractor, or do you take things to the dump yourself? The answer to how to handle this stuff correctly will be different in each situation.

Be aware that dried paint/varnish may be treated differently than paint/varnish sludge, either of which may be treated differently than used mineral spirits. Depending on local regulations, it may or may not be alright to dispose of these with regular household waste. Paint stripper waste of any kind will likely be treated differently, and will likely require separate disposal.

If you take your waste to the dump yourself (as I do in Dover-Foxcroft, Me.), the people at the dump should be able to tell you what to do with all of your stuff.

Assuming someone else takes your regular waste away (as happens at my Brooklyn, NY house), I would start by asking your regular waste collector if they take paint/varnish waste. They may take it, especially if it is dried, and/or if it is in a closed can like a used paint can. No funnel needed to get stuff into a gallon can. If it is a very small amount of sludge, perhaps a wide-mouth glass jar would do the trick. Plastic jars or containers should be avoided -- the solvents well might weaken the plastic over time and leave you with quite a mess. If they will not take it, ask them what to do, and/or talk to the hazardous waste disposal place that you mention.

They should be able to advise you about what kind of container they would accept for the particular material you are dealing with -- perhaps an empty, used paint can or a glass jar? They can also advise if you could/should let it dry out at all.

As to used mineral spirits -- you can minimize what you have to dispose of by reusing it. Solids from used mineral spirits will usually settle out over several days of just sitting, and the more-or-less clear portion can then be decanted and kept for reuse as the first rinse when cleaning brushes -- to be followed by further cleaning with new mineral spirits. Enough things will remain in such liquid, however, that I would not use it for thinning paint or varnish (or for any other purpose), even if it looks clear, so the container with the decanted material should be clearly marked.

The stuff left over after decanting could be combined with the other paint/varnish sludge you have on hand, and be disposed of with it, perhaps after drying out.

BUT -- if paint stripper and stripper waste is part of the sludge, it's a different matter -- it likely contains chemicals that should not be simply disposed of. Your hazardous waste place should be able to tell you how best deal with that kind of stuff.

You are right to be concerned about proper disposal of this kind of stuff -- some of it is relatively benign, some of it can be very toxic -- but none of it is without the potential for adverse environmental impact and/or negative health impact, even in small quantities.
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Here in Marquette Mi. if you spread paint on cardboard like from a box and let it dry the Waste Management people will take it and the other stuff can be taken in when there is a scheduled toxic waste drop off.
Thanks Greg and Dennis,

It took a while to run down the correct person in the local area, who actually had the skinney on how to deal with the waste. Locally, here in Albuquerque, one only needs to bring in the filled containers to the hazardest waste site, I can mix oil based enamels and varnish waste in the same tin, no problem, I don't even have to label the contents. Same story with sludge, just put into an empty paint can and deliver. She said they all end up in the same barrel on thier side. Also bring in the dried up oil based paint to them as they don't want it to leach from the landfill to our water table.

Latex paints, mix the liquid form w/ kitty litter or such and take it to the landfil.

Thanks again for the pointers, now to clean the garage, to make way for some new constrution to make it into a new boat shop, while waiting for my 1961 OT Guide to get back from the strippers, who is somewhat of a bandidio.