How to dispose of paint properly in Irvine and Orange County California
If your spring cleaning plans include tackling the garage, you might be wondering what to do with those partially filled cans of paint.
Sure, we need to keep a few for touch-ups, but after the colors in our home have changed, chances are many cans will never get used.
What can you do with old paint? First, I hope we all know by now that anything poured down a storm drain ends up in the ocean. And cans of paint cannot be placed in the regular trash or recycle bins.
However, if there's a small amount of water-based paint left in a can, you can open it. Allow it to dry completely. Then throw the can into your regular trash. No wet paint should ever go into the trash.
Oil-based paint and solvents such as mineral spirits are especially toxic and are considered hazardous-waste materials. These must be taken to a designated site for proper disposal.
Although the production of oil-based paints is being phased out, many of us probably still have a can of old semi-gloss we used for painting trim. But it's doubtful that there would be any lead-based products still hanging around your garage, because the manufacture of lead-based paint stopped in the late 1970s.
But it's really hard to decipher what's actually in some of those old cans that have been splattered with paint. So if you're unsure what type of paint is in the can, it's best to bring it to one of the hazardous-waste sites for disposal.
The Orange County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers accept latex- and oil-based paint, along with a host of other items including antifreeze, batteries, computers and other electronics, fertilizers, herbicides, hobby supplies, pesticides and used motor oil.
Disposal is free to all Orange County residents. These regional centers are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and are closed on rainy days and major holidays:
Anaheim: CVT Public Recycling Center, 1071 N. Blue Gum St.
Hunntington Beach: Rainbow Disposal facility, 17121 Nichols St.
Irvine: 6411 Oak Canyon.
San Juan Capistrano: Prima Deshecha Landfill, 32250 La Pata Ave.
Here's how it works:
Follow the signage into the facility. Attendants will direct you to where to stop the car. State regulations require you to remain in your vehicle when delivering hazardous waste and to refrain from smoking. If you wish to have a container returned to you, notify the attendant immediately. Some containers may not be returnable.
You will be given a card to fill out with your name and address and may be required to show proof of Orange County residency.
Attendants wearing white protective suits will remove the hazardous materials from your trunk. When you visit the sites in Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Irvine, check out the Stop & Swap where you can get used home, yard and automotive-care products for free. For more information and directions, go to 714-834-6752 or www.oclandfills.com.
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