Paint and Solvents

Can of paint on tableThere is an erroneous assumption that once the liquid dries in the gutter, the paint or solvent won't go anywhere. The reality is that the next time it rains, runoff will carry these pollutants into the storm water system.

Tips for Paints and Solvents:

  • Purchase only the amount of paint/solvent needed for the job.
  • Use water-based paint whenever possible.
  • Use minimal amounts of water or solvent to clean brushes and rollers in a container.
  • Reuse cleaning solvents and water.
  • Do not pour the rinse water or solvent into the street gutter or down the drain.
  • Store paint and solvents safely indoors away from the elements.
  • Prevent spills and leaks, by using drop cloths.
  • Dispose of all old paint or solvent only at household hazardous waste collection event.

Paints & Solvents Audio:


For more information on local household hazardous waste programs visit our Members and Sponsors page and clicking on the appropriate municipal member logo.

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Household Hazardous Waste Programs

Hazardous waste disposalHousehold hazardous wastes (HHW) are common everyday products that people use in and around their homes including: cleaners and solvents; paints; automotive products; medicines, beauty products; pool chemicals; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; lighter fluids and other fuels (i.e. gasoline). The chemicals found in these products require proper disposal. Throwing HHW in the trash, pouring it down the drain, or dumping it on the ground is not only dangerous but it is often illegal.

Here are some tips for managing HHW:

  • Use it up – Many household products have a long shelf life and may work well years after they were purchased.
  • Give it away – Except for medicines, to friends, neighbors or community organizations may be able to use the products you no longer need.
  • Recycle it – Many hazardous materials can be broken down and used to make new products. For example, some automotive stores will accept used automotive oil, batteries and tires.
  • Follow label instructions – Some products can safely be put out with the trash.
  • For those products that do need to be disposed of, please contact your community by visiting our Members and Sponsors page and clicking on the appropriate municipal member logo.

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Recycling cans lined up, soda cans, stacks of recyclablesReducing your waste by recycling and reusing materials is beneficial to the entire community. Exercising good practices creates a healthy environment, keeps trash rates down and prolongs the life of our local landfills. If you are not sure what to recycle, then call your community. Better to check than to not recycle at all.

The items listed below can be recycled:

  • Aluminium beverage cans
  • Steel cans (vegetable, fruit, soup-type cans)
  • Newspaper, printing paper, colored paper, paper sacks
  • Magazines, newsletters (NO shredded paper)
  • Cardboard boxes (broken down and flat)
  • Plastic bottles and containers (food, beverage, condiment, shampoo and detergent-type – showing #1 through #6 on the bottom or side of the bottle or container)
  • Glass food and beverage jars and bottles (clear, green and brown)

Remember - Recyclables should be clean and dry. Safety is the reason why. Remove the caps, lids and rings because they can't be recycled. For recycle day and other information please contact your community

Recycling Fun Facts

  • Recycling one aluminium can, can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours!
  • A ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees.
  • It takes 14,471 plastic milk jugs to make one double decker playground equipment.
  • Every glass bottle recycled can save enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.

Visit Earth 911 for more recycling information.

Next: Solid Waste & Litter