CCR Report:   Town of Whitakers                City of Rocky Mount

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Many citizens wonder what to do with leftover paint thinner (turpentine, mineral spirits, and other solvents) and other similar products. These citizens understand that it's not acceptable to dump these chemicals down the drain, in a ditch or storm drain, or on the ground. They are trying to find a legal and responsible way to get rid of something they no longer need.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that most paint thinners and many related chemical products (like paint stripper, primer, rust remover, varnish, wood preservatives, certain glues, etc) can be hazardous to the environment and therefore should be handled and disposed of care-fully.

At the same time, most public and private trash collection services either do not allow or do not intend for paint thinner and other related liquids to be disposed with residential trash. In most cases, these trash collection services do not have programs in place to collect or dispose of such materials. Therefore, it is understandable that citizens would be confused as to what they should and can do with paint thinner and related liquid products.

1) Try to buy only what you need.
        When getting ready to paint buy just the amount you need to do the job. When you avoid buying too much at the start (source reduction)
        there's less chance that leftovers end up harming the landfills.

2) Properly store what you don't use.
        It is important that these products be sealed in their original containers and located away from the reach of children, environment or
        unnecessarily filling up our away from moisture, and at a typical room temperature, away from extreme heat and cold.

        By properly storing what you don't use today, the next time you have another home maintenance or improvement project you can have what
        you need on hand, saving you both time and money.

3) Clean and reuse paint thinners.
        Clean smaller amounts of dirty paint thinner or other solvents by gently shaking and then pouring them out of their original container into a
        closed, clear container. Then let them sit until the paint or other material settles to the bottom. After the material (sludge) has set-tied out pour
        the clean, reusable solvent off the top back into the original container. Put the lid back on the container and save for reuse. Then, in a well
        ventilated area, let the sludge dry and discard it with your regular trash.

4) Use up the products you have.
        Why buy more when you already have some. This saves time and money.

5) Recycle the Empty Container(s).
        Each container you recycle is one less that ends up in a landfill!

        In some jurisdictions, recycling programs may accept completely empty containers (steel and/or plastic). If you're not sure, check the
        requirements for your community.

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