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Sustainability News

Sustainability In Action

November 5, 2008

Beginning January of 2008, ASU Paint Services started a Recycled Paint Program. Throughout the years, the Paint Shop accumulates a surplus of perfectly usable water-based paint. Our paint is received from numerous sources, including campus departments, outside contractors, and on occasion it is just left outside our doors.

The Paint Shop has very limited storage space. At one time, we were able to send overstock to Surplus Property. However, in the Fall of 2007, the criteria had changed, and so hundreds of gallons that we attempted to deliver to Surplus could no longer be accepted. We were told that if the paint buckets had been opened, they were no-longer acceptable.

We considered pouring the paint into our 55 gallon hazardous waste containers, and having Environmental Health and Safety take it away. The downside to this, is that it is a costly service, and we learned that the containers are delivered to an unspecified location somewhere in Utah. It became apparent that this plan would be expensive on many levels, and all for the disposal of good, useable paint.

That is when we decided to start our Reclaimed Paint Program. So far, hundreds of gallons of paint have been condensed and consolidated, strained and then stored in 5-gallon buckets with a sample of the color painted on the lid. In addition, each full bucket has a recycled vinyl label, courtesy of the ASU Campus Signage.

The Paint Shop has been using the recycled paint for a variety of work so far, including covering graffiti, painting restrooms, handrails, exterior doors, and as a primer for new construction and accent walls. Some of the recycled paint has been donated to ASU students for various campus projects.

We have been and continue to keep records on dates, and on the quantity of paint coming in and going out. So far, we have accounted for having used 315 gallons of this paint.

Roseann Barton

Painting Supervisor