Simple Steps for DIY and Home Contractors

When caught improperly disposing building materials or residue from project clean-up, contractors, and those who do home improvement, will be responsible for fines and clean up fees that can cost thousands of dollars.

Take the simple steps below to prevent liquids such as paint, drywall compound, concrete washout, and other chemicals from entering our water ways. In general, these building materials can safely be disposed of or recycled when dried. Other options for disposal include donation or reuse.

Simple Steps for Paint Disposal

Take simple steps at home to protect our waterways when remodeling - whether it's a DIY project or you have contractors

  • Purchase only what you need; donate leftover materials.
  • Give leftovers to community service organizations (theater groups, recreation departments) or to a non-profit that does remodeling work. When donating paint, contact the organization first to learn their requirements.
  • Leave leftover paint for the homeowner for future touch ups.
  • Wash latex painting tools in an interior sink.
  • Dry out latex paint by thickening it with cat litter, sand, dry dirt or a commercial paint hardener.
  • Leave the paint can lid off so trash collectors will know it is a solid. Some paint haulers will not take liquid.
  • Ship latex paint to a paint recycler.
  • Mix leftover paints to create a primer for future projects.
  • Dispose of drywall compound as a solid.
  • Do not pour or wash leftover paint, thinner, solvents and other chemicals and/or drywall compound down the drain, on the ground, in a storm sewer, or in the trash.
  • Do not dispose of used paint cans in a non-sealed dumpster.
  • Contain chips, peel and flakes of dried lead-based paint to prevent contaminating your work-site.

Simple Steps for Concrete Disposal

Take simple steps at home to protect our waterways when remodeling - whether it's a DIY project or you have contractors.

  • Never dispose of concrete washout or cutting slurry into the street, storm drains, drainage ditches or streams; it is against the law.
  • Train all staff on the importance and procedures for proper waste disposal.
  • Use as little water as possible to wash the chute, finishing tools, wheelbarrows, and other equipment; collect water and slurry for proper disposal.
  • Capture washout in a designated, well-marked washout area, bucket or other container.
  • Provide a marked washout area at the construction site for the concrete mixer.
  • Use sandbags, tarpaulins or diversion booms to direct wastewater to an appropriate washout area and prevent it from entering gutters and storm sewers.
  • Divert wastewater into a grassed area where it can soak in. Do not exceed the ground's soakage capacity.
  • Collect wastewater in a washout area or with a wet vacuum so it can be pumped into a tank for re-use or hauled to an approved disposal facility.
  • Allow water to evaporate from washout and dispose of solids in the garbage.
  • Secure bags of cement after they are open. Keep them out of the wind which can carry fine material to storm drains.

Reuse, Recycle, and Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly

Related links and resources for Reuse and Recycling or Disposing of Hazardous Waste

Please visit the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District website or click on one of the links below for more information.

  • Reuse and Recycling Solutions:
    Ohio Materials Market Place offers an online platform allowing businesses and organizations to connect and find reuse and recycling solutions for waste and by-product materials. Service is free. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) manages the Ohio Materials Marketplace with support from the US Business Council for Sustainable Development.
  • Dispose of Hazardous Materials:
    Business owners can visit Environmental Enterprises, Inc., a local environmental services company specializing in industrial and hazardous waste management. They accept nonflammable adhesives and caulks, paints, stains, thinners, and aluminum paint. Call ahead to ensure available times, locations and costs for drop off, or to arrange pick up at 1-800-722-2818 or local, 614-294-1300. 249 Essex Ave Columbus, OH 43201.

Home owners can contact SWACO, which provides free Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal services for all Franklin County residents. Hazardous wastes can easily be identified by looking for key words on the container such as poison, danger, caution, flammable, corrosive, or use in a well-ventilated area.

SWACO operates a permanent Household Hazardous Waste Center located at:
645 E. 8th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43201
(The corner of E. 8th and Essex Avenue)
Phone: 614-294-1300