So, we decided to put together a useful guide with all the questions you’ll need to ask about how to handle the waste.
Solvent-based paint is often used on metal equipment, metal walkways, metal doors, and railings, and is especially useful for protecting steel structures. However, if you have waste, here’s what you need to know about solvent paints disposal…
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Q: Why is solvent-based paint used?
A: Solvents are used to disperse paint pigments and when they dry, they leave the pigment and oxidized oil, forming a hard film. This makes the painted surface durable.
Q: What is the difference between water-based and solvent-based paint?
A: Solvent-based paint is frequently referred to as oil-based or alkyd, and it contains a higher level of organic compounds than water-based paint. When the solvents evaporate, they release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). They have a strong odour and a toxic impact on the environment, which is why the correct solvent paint disposal is vital.
Q: Can epoxy coatings and resins also use solvents?
A: Yes they can. They are popular in industry because they give a quick-drying, tough and protective coating to concrete floors and metal structures which resists water, acid, and alkali.
Q; How could solvent paints disposal affect my health?
A: Solvents can get into the body by breathing in vapours or fumes, or if they come into contact with your skin. They can cause eye irritation, lung irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and dermatitis. So, waste solvent-based paints need to be handled carefully and correctly and dealt with by experienced professionals.
Q: Are they considered hazardous waste?
A: Yes, solvent-based paints are a hazard and must be stored, classified, and transported according to the hazardous waste regulations from the Environment Agency. That means your business has a legal duty to comply with the regulations, ensuring your waste is transferred by a licensed company and sent to a licensed facility for disposal or recycling. Failure to do so can result in a substantial fine.
Q: Why is classifying the waste important?
A: It will help you decide how to store it and deal with it, and it will help your waste handlers manage it. You must give them correctly filled-in paperwork as part of your business’s duty of care to people and the environment.
Q: Where can I find guidance on classifying the waste?
A: The Environment Agency has a guide to construction and demolition waste, which includes paints and varnishes. Access it here.
Q: How do I choose the right waste management company for my solvent paints disposal?
A: Choose a company with a track record in successfully dealing with hazardous waste, such as Inspire Waste Management. They will understand the complex rules associated with it and help you ensure your solvent paints disposal is carried out correctly.
Q: Where should I dispose of solvents and paints?
A: For North East we use a solvent waste disposal facility in Newcastle, however we cover the whole UK and use local facilities where possible to minimise environmental impact.