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How to Dry Out Your Latex Paint

National Association of Counties - 2011 - NACo Achievement Award

Summary

Facing budgetary uncertainties in 2010, the District began examining ways to cut program spending while still offering residents an option for properly handling their household hazardous waste. Latex paint is not a hazardous material and it can be safely thrown away with regular trash once it is solid, so the District determined that eliminating the collection of latex paint would be the most effective method of reducing the costs of its program.

Description

The Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District has been providing residents with programs to properly dispose of or recycle their hazardous waste since 1995. Facing budgetary uncertainties in 2010, the District began examining ways to cut program spending while still offering residents an option for properly handling their household hazardous waste. Latex paint was the most popular material disposed of by Hamilton County residents through the program, and as such, its collection significantly raised the program’s cost. However, latex paint is not a hazardous material and it can be safely thrown away with regular trash once it is solid, so the District determined that eliminating the collection of latex paint would be the most effective method of reducing the costs of its program.

To help inform residents about the change to the household hazardous waste program and the educate them about how to properly dispose of unwanted latex paint, the District created an entertaining and informative video which it displayed both on YouTube and on the District’s website. The production and dissemination of the video did not cost the District anything other than staff time, which demonstrates how the easy this program would be to replicate. Since its upload, the YouTube video has been viewed in excess of 1,400 times and the contractor of the District’s hazardous waste program did not collect any latex paint in 2010.

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Tags: Education and Training, Sustainability/Green Issues/Environment and Natural Resources, Technology





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