Paint Thinners: Expense, Illegal Dumping and Recyling
I read your recent column about disposing of paint thinners. Although a newly established “residents only” site is available off Tunnel Avenue, it is off limits to commercial sources like myself. This new effort is laudable, but it does nothing to address “small generators” like myself.
I have a small 3 man painting business and we generate about 150 gallons of used paint thinner a year, along with some unwanted paint that must be disposed of. This is not very much in relative terms.
I checked around to see where I can dispose of this. I found the plant in Richmond will take the waste, but it is illegal for me to transport it without a special license. They will come and pick it up but at the cost of $10.00 per gallon (five times as much as I pay for a gallon of new paint thinner).
I called the Toxic Information Center to no avail. Until they address this problem, I along with everyone in my situation will continue to dump it illegally.
There are alternatives. Recycle your thinner, and as much of your paint as possible. Doing so is cost efficient and will improve your profits. Once you’ve found what the actual dump rates are in relation to your annual sales then include them as a cost of doing business. In our remodeling company it is sometimes difficult for us to land a contract, because we have similar costs that we must incur (and pass on to our customers), that some prospective clients are not willing to pay. But, our success and that of other businesses like ours proves that we’re doing the right thing by our community.
Each customer of yours who pays his portion of proper waste disposal is helping to protect the future of his family. Yes, you may lose some of the business you’ve been getting in the past. And, so do we, but if your prospective client isn’t willing to pay the price- then at least realize what he is really saying. “Break the law for me. Mess up the environment. You be responsible, because I don’t care”. Sound familiar?
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