Please Destroy the Environment

We were in the process of throwing junk into the dumpster, when it occurred to us that some items might not be allowed, so we checked the list. CRTs they would take, but might charge extra for. Ok. Paints and household cleaners were not allowed.

Hmm. So that leaves us with around 8 cans of paint and a large container of scented Tide, which I bought accidentally (I usually get unscented) and the scent makes me nauseous.

I guess since Tide goes down the drain during normal use, it’s safe to pour down the drain, probably in small doses so as not to overflow the drain with suds.

I called up the Worcester Department of Works to find out how to dispose of paint.

Latex paint: use newspapers or a drying agent (commercial paint drying powder, or kitty litter) to dry the paint, then dispose of the cans in standard Worcester bags. Ok. Not so bad.

Oil paint: this is considered hazardous waste, so cannot be disposed of.


Well, you can dispose of it, but only once a year. This year it was July 2nd. So if you miss that one day, you have to wait a whole year to get another shot at it. And that day is not advertised, so unless you know to ask, and know WHO to ask, you wouldn’t even know when your one shot at it was.

So I can’t dispose of it in a rented dumpster, and the City won’t take it. I look on Lowe’s site – they sell oil-based paint, but don’t offer any disposal method.

So essentially, the only options seems to be: dispose of the paint illegally, or hire a hazmat team for who knows how much money to dispose of it.

Now, I *think* all the paint we have is latex, so it’s probably not an issue, but look at the message being sent here.

Oil-based paint is, I gather, a toxic substance harmful to the environment. But rather than make it EASY to dispose of it in an ecologically responsible manner, the government makes is nearly impossible to dispose of, and private companies have no incentive to dispose of it, even if they sell it.

It’s no wonder people dump waste material like this illegally – they are essentially given no choice.