We are in the process of ridding our garage and shed of old paint and solvent cans. We inherited quite a collection when we bought the house. Because the paint is old and the cans weren’t tightly sealed, we’ll need to dispose of it. It if were in better shape, we’d recycle it. (Earth 911’s Paint page explains more and has a Recycling Locator link you can click on to find out about paint recycling programs in your community.)

Arapahoe County uses a hazardous waste collection company called Curbside. It’s quite simple; they send you a big plastic bag to fill with stuff, and then they pick the bag up for you right at your door. Here in Centennial, Colorado, we are charged of co-payment of $20 for the service. Cans of old latex paint have to be thoroughly dried out, and I’ve discovered it’s not easy to find an undisturbed “paint can drying” area with little kids running around! I’m also disappointed to learn that Curbside will not accept liquid mercury; I have four old thermostats that I’ve been hoarding since last winter when we replaced them with programmable models. The pick up is scheduled for Tuesday and I’ll report back on what we end up discarding; in the mean time, here’s one of the old cans that happens to be the previous color of the house’s exterior before we painted it:

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

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