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Is a Skip Bin the best way to get rid of old, unwanted paint and paint cans?

News > Is a Skip Bin the best way to get rid of old, unwanted paint and paint cans?

How can you put Paint in Skip Bins?
How can you put Paint in Skip Bins?

Half filled paint tins are one of those things that lots of people seem unsure about how to get rid of them. This is always made worst as the amount of liquid paint in the can goes up. The situation is often made to appear more difficult because most rubbish removal and skip bin operators limit their services to only removing non-hazardous materials and and non-liquid wastes.

So paint can often be considered hazardous because of what it is made of and its potential for damaging ground water when in a liquid form and can seep into the ground water where it goes to land fill.  Where the paint is oil based paint then it is often thought that the only place to get rid of it is at a local hazardous waste disposal drop-offs that are offered to householders once or twice a year.  Now that might well be the best place to get rid of the oil based paint but it isn't the only option and often people don't have the 6 or 12 months to wait for the event to come around.  Many paints are also considered hazardous because their formulation often contain toxic heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium. 

According to the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage it is possible to get rid of empty paint tins or those containing completely dry paint can be safely disposed of in domestic waste streams, at landfills and hence using bulk waste services like skip bins. If you have a paint can (or tin) that still has liquid paint in it it it becomes a case of getting the paint to dry out before it is put in the skip bin.

There seems to be a number of suggested ways of getting liquid paint to dry so it can be placed in a skip bin. I have heard of people  using , sand, newspapers, kitty litter and paint hardner. I am not keen on the sand because it is going to add considerable weight to the liquid that in most place could result in it costing more to get rid of the paint.

In essence the purpose of the material is to get the paint to solidify so it becomes a block that can be thrown away. So the first thing to do is to take the lid off the can (and leave it off forever). Putting the lid back on a can of paint that is soolid only means that it is too difficult to check the content of the can and then you might find the paint cans are removed from the bin and left behind. With the Kitty litter and newspaper the paint is soaked up and spread over a large surface area so it dry quickly. But it is worth remembering that if you have a lot of liquid paint in the can. the newspaper or the kitty litter will just sink down into the can leaaving the same surface area being the liquid surface in the can. There needs to be sufficient air in the can so that the surface area is above the level of the paint and thus increases the area that the air can circulate around it to speed the drying process. If you paint can is a third or more full you may have to drian the excess paint out and dry it in one or more contains.

Alternatively, the third options is to use paint hardner. Paint hardner speeds up the process for solidifying the paint and it can be used in all sorts of paint.One brand I have come across is called Krud Kutter. This material, that is made up of little crystalls is stirred into the paint and cause it to harden quite quickly.    




  • Authored By:Stephen Shergold
  • Updated:22/07/2021