At the Beginning of February, there was a change to the 22 Californian Code of Regulation 66261.7, which has to do with the handling and disposal of hazardous materials. This pertains to any liquid material that’s been dubbed hazardous waste, especially used disposable paint cups. It might seem like a minor thing, but the penalties and fines for mishandling hazardous waste under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are now as high as $71,264 per day, per violation. Besides, you don’t want the paint you’re using at work to end up in your local water supply, right? So here is a quick, painless guide to disposing of used pain cups safely, and correctly.
Step 1: Place a drum funnel with a lid on the properly labeled waste accumulation drum:
When you’re ready to dispose of a used paint cup, just take the lid off of the drum funnel and place the paint cup on the funnel floor upside down and let the paint cup drain overnight.
Close the lid on the drum funnel. Maybe get some coffee.
This is the important part: once a cup has been draining overnight, check it to make sure that no liquid paint remains. If there is still liquid dripping from the cup, leave it in the drum funnel for another night. If nothing is dripping (not even a little bit) you can throw the cup away with normal trash. The kicker here is that all the LIQUID paint is drained out.
If you’ve got a paint cup that still has accumulated dried paint residue after a second draining attempt, dispose of it with the hazardous waste. Any solid paint waste that has built up on the inside and edges of a paint cup is just as bad as the liquid stuff, so disposing of it correctly is important.
Keeping in compliance with the new laws keeps your shop from getting slapped with hefty fines, and protects the environment where you live and work.