“It” accumulates in cabinets, garages and in the basements of our homes. We hold onto old cans of “it” just in case.
“It” is paint and most homes have lots of it: flat, semi-gloss, stains in all sorts of finishes and hues. There it sits because many homeowners think they might need it later or they don’t know how to dispose of it.
Chemicals and paints should never be poured down drains, and the landfill does not want chemicals or liquid materials. Enter the KC Recycling Depot, where our mission is to protect the community by helping Kosciusko County residents safely dispose of household hazardous waste.
 The proper disposal of paint products depends on the chemicals used to manufacture them. For example, latex paint is water-based and does not need to be treated as a hazardous waste. Latex paint may be thrown in the trash if it is solidified. To solidify latex paints, add equal parts of clay kitty litter or sand to the paint and allow it to dry. Once dry, dispose of the solidified paint in your trash can with the paint can lid off (this lets your trash hauler know that it is solid). The Depot will dispose of bad latex paints (as a convenience) for a fee of $3/gallon from residents. Latex paints in good condition are accepted for free at the Depot to put into our Reuse Room (to be used by members of the community at no cost).  
All oil-based paints, varnishes, stains, epoxies etc. must be disposed of at a household hazardous waste program, such as the Depot.
One quick way to decipher if your paint is water-based (or latex), is to check the clean-up instructions on the paint label; those for water-based paints will include using soap and water. Clean up instructions for oil-based paints will say to use mineral spirits. Still not sure? Look for words on your products such as: warning, danger, flammable, combustible, toxic, poison or corrosive. These signal words indicate a hazardous product that should be taken to the Depot for disposal.
Paints that are collected at the Depot and are in good usable condition will be placed in the Reuse Room.  Last year over 27,000 pounds (that’s equivalent to 2,700 gallons) of paint went back into the community through the Reuse Room.  That’s a lot of paint reused! The paint is given away at no cost, but there is a limit of five cans per household.
So whether your intent is to clean out your garage or to spruce up your house for Thanksgiving, bring those old unused paints to the Depot so they can be disposed of properly or given back to the community. The Depot is open to collect paints during regular office hours, or you can visit the Depot during the America Recycles Day event Nov. 14 from 9 to 3. In addition to a special free paint collection, the Depot will have a Green Shopper Program at 1:30 p.m., educational displays, giveaways, and many other activities. Visit kcrecycling.com for a full list of activities. Please note that this paint collection is for residents only; no business traffic on this Saturday. The Depot is at 220 S. Union St., Warsaw.