JULY 15, 2015 BY 

eprinted from July 1 Yampa Valley Voice 

Summer projects bring Household Hazardous Waste, paint disposal will be affected by the new Architectural Paint Stewardship Act
Andy Kennedy for YVSC

We are entering the summer months when we are busiest in our gardens and on projects around the house, creating all kinds of “Household Hazardous Waste” (HHW), and we thought it’s a great time to review what exactly IS Household Hazardous Waste and what are the correct ways to dispose of it?

HHW are common household products (such as cleaners, paints, car products, and pesticides) that may be hazardous to your children, your pets or the environment.  Words such as danger, warning, caution, poisonous, and flammable on the labels can mean a product is toxic. It is important to use and dispose of them safely. Do not put such materials in the garbage or storm drains.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Disposal of HHW

The following information can help you determine the best ways to reduce, reuse, or dispose of common household products that may contain hazardous ingredients.

Reduce

Consider reducing your purchase of products that contain hazardous ingredients. Read labels and learn about the use of alternative methods or products, without hazardous ingredients, for some common household needs.

To avoid the potential risks associated with household hazardous wastes, it is important that you monitor the use and storage of potentially hazardous substances in your home. Below are some tips to follow in your own homes:

  • Use and store products containing hazardous substances carefully to prevent any accidents at home. Never store hazardous products in food containers; keep them in their original containers and never remove labels.
  • When leftovers remain, never mix HHW with other products. Incompatible products might react, ignite, or explode, and contaminated HHW might become unrecyclable.
  • Remember to follow any instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels.

Reuse and Recycle

Twin Enviro Services (Milner Landfill, www.twinenviro.com) takes many products containing hazardous substances for reuse or recycling.  Contact Twin Enviro for a current list of products they are accepting as there are changes in paint laws this summer (see below).  All HHW brought to Twin must be in its original packaging, preferable unopened or only slightly used.

Every fall, YVSC partners with local responsible disposal agencies like Routt County Environmental Health, Twin Enviro and Electronics Recyclers International to collect HHW as part of our Community Recycles Drop-off Day in early October.  Visit https://yvsc.org/calendar/upcoming-events/recycling-drop-off/ to see an updated list as this event approaches.

Paint

This summer, the new Colorado Architectural Paint Stewardship Law (Senate Bill 14-029) takes effect, which was signed by Governor Hickenlooper in June 2014, declaring that paint disposal creates environmental and public health problems and should be managed properly. Similar laws have been sweeping the nation since 2002; Colorado is the 8th state to pass a paint stewardship law since 2009.

The broad goals of our stewardship law are for paint manufacturers to establish a system of paint stewardship that will provide cost savings to HHW collection programs; increase the number of postconsumer paint collection sites and recycling opportunities for households, businesses and other generators of postconsumer architectural paint; and exemplify the principles of a product-centered approach to environmental protection, also known as product stewardship.

The Colorado Paint Stewardship Program is anticipated to take effect July 1, and Steamboat will have several drop off locations, still being established through PaintCare, the nation-wide non profit organization that is handling the outreach and education portions of these state laws.

What does this mean for you? Paint costs will increase slightly (pennies per can) to cover these charges at the time of purchase, but that means paint can be dropped off at locations all year instead of waiting for our annual fall event to dispose of architectural paint and stains, and there will be no fee to dispose of them – the program will institute the “advanced disposal fee” concept to cover its costs of disposal.

Stay tuned to the YVSC channel (www.yvsc.org, @yvsc, www.facebook.com/steamboatyvsc) to learn more about this new program and drop off locations.

UPDATE August 2015: 
You can now bring your paint (non aerosol) to Ace Hardware or Sherwin Williams. Please do so prior to coming to our October Community Recycles Drop Off Day to save time and volume for our partners. Thanks!