“Stay hungry, stay foolish, and make sure you recycle your used paint.”
– Steve Jobs
Okay, you caught us. That’s not exactly what Steve Jobs said…
…but, regardless, it’s true! Every time you choose to recycle your old paint, coatings, and aerosols products, you make the world a greener place to live in. While you may know how to recycle your paint products and where you can take them, another important question to ask is why you should recycle your paint in the first place.
We’re glad you’ve asked! Here are 4 reasons to keep in mind:
1) You’ll prevent harmful substances from entering the environment.
An example of this is volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – these are vapours that are released into the air when some latex and alkyd (oil-based) paints dry up in a landfill. VOCs help form ozone, which is a primary ingredient of smog. Smog isn’t good for the environment – and isn’t good for you, either!
Recycling your paint ensures that compounds like VOCs and other flammable substances in paint are disposed of safely and don’t enter local ecosystems. This keeps our soil, groundwater, and air free of toxins!
2) Recycling old paint = saving resources.
Did you know: by using a gallon of recycled paint that would have been thrown out, you can save 100 kilowatt hours of energy that would have been used to make new paint. That’s enough energy to make 160 grande-sized cups of coffee! Imagine how long that could keep you awake for…
But, wait. It gets even better: even unrecyclable paint can help conserve resources. Some latex paints help produce biomass fuels that would have otherwise required new organic materials and additional energy to produce. Other latex paints can be reprocessed into new paint and coatings or used to make concrete products. Neat, huh?
3) Less waste means reduced landfill size.
It’s easy to forget where our trash goes once it’s in your black bin: out of mind, out of sight, right?
With over 10,000 landfills in Canada and an ever-expanding need for waste management, it’s important to remember how our actions impact the way we use our space. In 2015 alone, ReGeneration recycled over 6.8 million litres of paint products across the country. That’s over 6.8 million litres of paint that isn’t taking up space in a landfill or emitting greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or methane over time. Pretty spiffy!
4) Someone might be able to reuse your paint!
In some provinces, ReGeneration runs PaintReuse, a program that allows paint recycled at our depots to be picked-up, free of charge! And, guess what – it’s completely free! This is not only saves you money, but it’s also quite efficient: you can use it for home improvement projects, for walls, fences, or even for large pieces of artwork like murals!
If you live in BC, Ontario, Newfoundland & Labrador, or New Brunswick, check our Collection Site Finder to see if your local depot doubles as a PaintReuse location.
Convinced that your used paint is a valuable and very recyclable resource? We sure hope so!
Have more questions about paint or our PaintReuse program? Fear not! Learn more about our paint program here.