Thurston County's HazoHouse will no longer accept latex paint from residents, effective August 1.
Once considered hazardous, latex (also known as acrylic) paint is now deemed safe to dispose of in the trash. Thousands of dollars are spent each year disposing of latex paint as hazardous waste, an unnecessary procedure for the product.
"Dry it up, use it up, or pass it on!" says Operations Manager Jim Zygar of the Waste and Recovery Center. He recommends the following actions to take with unwanted latex paint:
--If the can is 1/4 full or less, simply remove the lid and place the can in a safe, well-ventilated area. The latex paint will dry in a few days and then you can place the container in the trash after checking the paint's thickness with a stick.
--If the can is more than 1/4 full, use mulch, kitty litter, sand or shredded paper to solidify the paint. Just mix it in with the paint, or mix the paint with a paint solidifier, available at some hardware and paint stores. Once the paint has a tacky, oatmeal-like consistency and will not spill out, place in the trash.
--Use it up. Small amounts can be mixed with other colors and used as a primer.
--Pass it on. Donate unopened cans of paints. Many schools, theaters and community groups accept unopened cans of paint, especially white. Also check your paint store's policy on returning unopened cans of paint.
Zygar cautions that latex paints manufactured before 1989 might contain lead or mercury. "Please bring old latex paint to the HazoHouse for safe disposal."
Located at the Waste and Recovery Center at 2418 Hogum Bay Road, HazoHouse accepts hazardous household items such as solvents, cleaning supplies, fluorescent light tubes, pesticides and other products for safe disposal and recycling.
The service is free to residents. A complete list of accepted materials and other information is available at www.co.thurston.wa.us/solidwaste
or at 867-2491.
HazoHouse hours are Friday through Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ###