CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is again teaming up with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam’s ReStore to collect and recycle unused latex paint.
On Sept. 14, latex paint can be dropped off at the garage of the WVDEP headquarters at 601 57th Street SE in the Kanawha City area of Charleston from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Any shade or amount of latex paint can be donated. Oil based paint cannot be accepted. In addition to oil-based paint, other substances that cannot be accepted at the paint drive include stains, epoxy, chemicals, liquids in unmarked containers, and paint thinner.
The donated latex paint will be filtered, strained and blended into a product that will be sold in the ReStore.
“This is a great way to help clean out that cluttered garage or storage building, all while helping a good cause,” said Tammy Thornton, assistant chief of the DEP’s Business and Technology Office. “Paint donation and recycling is also the most environmentally responsible way to dispose of unused paint.”
Last year, the WVDEP collected more than 4,000 pounds of paint in its paint drive. The goal this year is at least 5,000 pounds.
The paint department has become an integral part of the ReStore offerings. That department alone has brought in more than $100,000 in sales since the program was started in 2012, according to Courtney Crabtree, the donations manager of the ReStore.
“Supplies of paint, like all donations, are greatly reduced in the winter and paint drives like these help ensure we will have enough paint to continue remixing latex paint until spring,” said Crabtree. “Paint is one of the few items customers know we will always have, which is a draw and helps us increase overall sales.”
If paint donation and recycling is not possible, the best way to prevent latex paint from becoming an environmental concern is to either harden the unused paint with sawdust or cat litter, or use it on a piece of cardboard before throwing it in the trash.
The best way to get rid of unused and unwanted oil-based paint is to donate it to organizations such as community service groups or a local theater group. Oil-based paint is considered household hazardous waste and should never be poured down a drain. When disposing of unused oil-based paint, read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper disposal. You can also check with your local recycling center or solid waste authority about disposal options.
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.