Paint the Town Environmentally Safe

** This is a guest post from Kendal R. Miller,SEIRD Public Outreach Coordinator.

I’m fascinated with television shows that highlight makeovers—whether it’s a home renovation, a landscape redo, or an individual getting a head to toe transformation. There’s something about “out with the old and in with the new” and “still the same, only better” that intrigues me.

Like most households, the Millers’ are divided. Much to my despair, my husband has little interest in makeover programs—unless they include affixing prized carcasses of harvested wildlife on someone’s trophy wall.

While I’m no Martha Stewart, watching hours of HGTV over the years somewhat qualifies me to share my views–a fresh coat of paint seems to do wonders for just about anything. I’ve watched in awe as interior designers manipulate color palettes in preparation for a big transformation—living rooms become warm and inviting, bedrooms more cozy, and bathrooms more romantic.

Imagining the day when time and finances allows for major updates on our 1800s farmhouse, I congratulate each of you who have already taken the plunge into renovation or remodeling mayhem. Participating as a do-it-yourselfer or project consultant, you’re a survivor—through delays, glitches, and perhaps a disagreement or two.

For those who are about to begin or are in the midst of a project, I would speculate that the thought of how to dispose of old fixtures, paint, and leftover building materials is high on your priority list. Still, those of you who are already enjoying their new living space may be dealing with storage issues caused by unneeded construction supplies.

An opportunity SEIRD provides throughout its seven-county district is the free disposal of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). Residents can drop off oil-based paints and stains, mineral spirits, polyurethane, and other harmful renovation products during quarterly collection days. For identification purposes, all HHW disposals (in liquid, particle, or powder form) must be in their original containers.

Double-check all paints and stains for content—SEIRD accepts oil-based paints and stains but not those containing latex. Leftover or unused latex paint can be thrown away in the regular trash, but only after its dried using old newspapers, rags, or kitty litter tossed inside the can. In addition, anything that is marked latex or “clean with soap and water” is not considered HHW.  Collecting non-HHW or non-recyclable items would increase trash fees for SEIRD, expending money that may hinder existing and future services to its residents.

Consider donating latex paints to schools or organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or your local Boys and Girls Clubs. Even in small amounts, latex paint may be utilized by teachers and volunteers for touch-ups and mural or craft projects.

Kitchen and bathroom cleaners, gardens chemicals, and automotive products are also HHW, and can be brought to a SEIRD recycle center for proper disposal. The Jefferson Co.  Recycling Center, located at 6556 North Shun Pike Rd. #534 in Madison can accept HHW year around for residents of SEIRD’s entire district.  For more information on accepted items and dates/locations of quarterly HHW collection days, log on to

Having SEIRD’s disposal opportunities at your fingertips is one less thing to worry about. Consider it a whim time-wise—you’ll need the extra to clean the manifested sheetrock and sawdust debris out of places you never expected.

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Kendal Miller is SEIRD’s public outreach coordinator. She can be reached at 812-574-4080 or For additional information on SEIRD’s services and educational opportunities, log on to SEIRD is on Facebook at Southeastern Indiana Recycling District and SEIRD on Twitter. The Jefferson Co. Recycling Center is located at 6556 N. Shun Pike Road #534 inside the Jefferson Proving Grounds located on the Madison hilltop.