Living Columns & Blogs

‘What can I do with old paint?’ and other recycling FAQs

Latex and oil-based paints must be handled and disposed off differently.
Latex and oil-based paints must be handled and disposed off differently. Centre Daily Times, file

For the past few months, I have been working on a new website for the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority. I happen to think that it is pretty fantastic, easy to navigate and full of information. But you don’t have to take my word for it — check it out for yourself. We are at the same address as before: www.centrecountyrecycles.org.

I think the most important section of the website is the Frequently Asked Questions section. So, I loaded it up with our most popular FAQs. Below are some examples.

Q: What can I do with old paint?

A: There is a difference between latex paint and oil-based paint, and therefore they must be handled differently.

Latex paint, when dry, may be disposed of in your regular trash. If you are simply overwhelmed with latex paint, the authority’s Transfer Station is allowed to accept up to 5 gallons of latex paint per person per day. There is a $15 minimum charge for this service. Please note that the authority will not accept latex paint at our Household Hazardous Waste events.

Oil-based paint, when dry, may be disposed of in your regular trash. The Recycling & Refuse Authority’s Transfer Station will not accept oil-based paint in liquid form. If you are simply overwhelmed with oil-based paint, the authority holds a Household Hazardous Waste Collection each spring. The authority accepts oil-based paint at this event. In addition, ReStore in Bellefonte takes unopened cans of oil-based paint for reuse. For more information, call 353-2390.

Tips to dry paint: Get a sturdy cardboard box and fill with clay-based kitty litter, pour the paint onto the kitty litter and let dry. Then dispose of this dried mixture with your trash. Some local hardware and paint stores carry a paint solidifier. Simply purchase, follow directions and when paint is dried, put out for trash collection.

Q: Where can I recycle my computer and monitor?

A: The Recycling & Refuse Authority has a collection site for electronics. Residents can stop by our facility 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and drop electronics off for free (businesses should call for pricing). Not all electronics are accepted for recycling. Check out the Electronics Recycling Guide on our website for details on the program.

Q: Should I bag my paper for recycling?

A: If you are a curbside recycling customer, yes. You must bag or tie your paper so it will not get wet or blow away. If you use the drop-off boxes around town or the blue recycling carts, there is no need to bag your paper. However, due to the nature of shredded paper, it should be bagged in all cases.

If you do visit our website and notice I am missing a FAQ that you think would help residents, please let me know. Thanks for recycling!

Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. Contact her at aschirf@centrecountyrecycles.org.

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