How To Dispose Of Paint Cans/Containers: Eco-friendly ways
Everyone wants their house to look pleasing to an observer or guest. Also, we all want to give our new houses an aesthetic and rejuvenating furnishing. Sometimes, the building seems to be completely strong, but it appears boring to the people residing in them.
In such cases, people commonly like to get their houses refurbished. Renovating one’s house or building brings a whole new look to the property, including some heavy alterations to just simple paintwork.
Typically, after painting a wall, the area appears as if it was always unlooked before. Not only this, but using good quality paint in your buildings also ensures greater strength of the selected area or wall.
Visualize a simple black and white sketch of your favorite artist. What if the sketch is painted with some natural and vibrant colors. Without any doubt, you will commence to like the artist behind that sketch even more.
Likewise, painting one’s property gives it a pleasant touch of different colors. One can select the colors by simply choosing the color code of a particular paint by looking at some charts provided by all the recognized companies.
You will get the same result on your wall. Every person has their likings and preferences, and some people like to see simplified warm or cool shades. On the other hand, some people like to use different combinations and schemes of color tones to make their room look beautiful.
Mostly, people tend to order extremes and bulks of paint cans, which then keep rotting in your storerooms. On looking at these containers after some years, you get to know that the paint can no longer be utilized, but this doesn’t mean that you can throw the paint with its container anywhere. It’s important to consider proper disposal factors correlated with the method.
In this article, we’ll learn how we can dispose of these paint cans in eco-friendly ways.
Materials used to make paint containers
• Metallic paint cans:
On a general note, a small amount of paint is stored in cylindrical and metallic cans. These cans are made up of tin-coated steel. The thin layer of tin helps in providing resistance to the material from getting eroded.
On the other hand, steel functions by providing some necessary strength. In the modern way of packaging, aluminum metal, the one which is present in abundance, is used as the fundamental material to make such cans. One must keep the can properly be enclosed once it’s opened.
It should never be kept in the environment and exposed for prolonged durations; otherwise, the metal can come in contact with humidity in the atmosphere, which will result in its rusting.
The idea behind using a thin layer of tin is because of its highly malleable nature at room temperature. Aluminum is used for this purpose, but it is normally preferred for manufacturing some expensive products. Therefore, metallic paints can be made up of tin-coated steel, steel, or aluminum, depending upon the paint material to be put inside the can.
• Plastic paint containers:
It is more convenient to make a plastic paint can than a metallic one, which prevents rusting and corrosion. Also, these containers ensure the proper airtight sealing of their lid, which prevents the paint from drying. Not only this, but plastic containers are easy to open, and they are more efficient than most other metallic paint cans.
This is so because there are little to no chances of being injured while opening the plastic container. Still, in the course of opening a metallic paint can, there is a bigger probability of getting your fingers wounded as it is highly sharp at the edges.
On a large scale, plastic cans are made up of jet black polypropylene. There is no change in their shape which implies that metallic and plastic cans are identical in shape. Polypropylene offers convenient compatibility with chemicals present in the paint, and it implies that there is no chance of any reaction occurring between paint and plastic.
Along with this, it keeps the temperature of the paint material stable. Plastic cans are more valuable for the timely usage of paint material and transportation purposes. While discussing the weight factor, these cans tend to be much lighter than metallic ones.
Correct ways to dispose of steel-based paint cans
To dispose of metallic cans like steel, you can simply put them in the dry waste or contact an agency where they can be recycled accurately.
1. Collection of steel cans
If the paint in the steel cans has been used up, you can simply add them to dry waste from where such metallic containers are picked up.
This involves the collection of tons of metallic articles in which paint containers also count. Different locations of public crowds are searched for the assortment of these metals.
2. Relocate them to a safe place
After collecting the metals, they are relocated to an industrial plant to carry out some further processes. Here the metallic materials are sorted and categorized based on their quality.
The substance is necessarily supposed to be 50% metallic for shifting toward the following step. It can’t be put into recycling below this level or percentage of metallic content.
After categorizing or selecting the metals, the next vital step is to simply process them in which the big-sized containers are smoothly compacted. This is done with the help of some heavy machines that are specifically designed to squeeze such metals.
The idea behind crushing them is to prevent the overloading of materials on the conveyor belt so that they do not take up much of the space in the machine.
4. Shredding into tiny fragments
In this step, the large metallic molecules are transformed into simpler and smaller blocks with the simple sharp shredders present in the machine. This is because it is always more effective to melt a tiny substance than a thick slab.
5. Melt the fragments
This step occurs in a big furnace where different types of metals are introduced in different furnaces. These furnaces are made to meet each particular type of metal differently, based on the properties possessed by the metal.
The temperature inside each furnace remains variable because every metal has a specific temperature at carrying, which melts. This process can chiefly take a few minutes to some hours, and the melting time varies from one metal to another.
After carrying out the melting process, it becomes necessary to purify the metal. Purification of metals ensures that they become free of all the impurities like dirt and glue particles.
If these impurities are not removed, the quality of the metal degrades variables step is done with the help of electrolysis, a vital chemical procedure to remove all the dirt and quickly make the product free from all manners of contaminants.
This is one of the most crucial steps for recycling. This step is a deciding factor for giving the just melted steel a regular shape. After the steel is purified, it is passed through a chamber by placing it over a conveyor belt.
This ensures the steel gets properly solidified. Also, the molten steel can be efficiently converted into any shape depending upon the usage of the substance one desires.
8. Prepped into then sheets
It is not essential to shape the metal after molding. Depending upon the industrial usage of these metals, they can also be cut into thin sheets with a highly malleable nature. Later, these thin malleable sheets and additional molded materials are correctly assembled in such a way that they do not get harmed while transported to factories.
While transporting these items, they are ensured to be ready to use, and factories use them as raw materials to produce different types of products. After complete usage of these made products by people, they can be put to undergo the similar procedures of bulk recycling in machines.
This saves the environment by reducing landfill waste and depleting the harmful emission of poisonous gases and their compounds in the atmosphere.
Correct ways to dispose of plastic-based paint containers
1. Collection of plastic containers
The first step to recycling plastic involves the collection of plastic. People and volunteers come forward to lend a hand in gathering different kinds of plastic materials. This can include paint containers too.
Volunteers search for these products in some public places. This is so because typically, people don’t bother about spreading litter in public places. Different bins are also checked for collecting every type of plastic substance.
This may seem to be an easy task, but it’s not, as one has to keep roaming to different places and parks in search of plastic materials. Once a huge amount of the pile gets collected, it is then brought to an industrial unit specifically designed to recycle plastic.
2. Categorizing of plastic
Right after this plastic gets collected, the heaps are sent to factories in the industries for properly separating. The process of categorizing and sorting this plastic is based on some vital parameters like size, shape, thickness, color, and usage.
Some machines are specifically designed to separate plastic based on its metallic property. Now, you must be wondering why to make use of machines for this not-so-difficult task.
So the answer is quite simple, it’s not an easy task to separate plastic based on some parameters without using specific machines. If one advent to use labor for this task, the separation of plastic material won’t be able to occur accurately.
3. Clean the portions by washing
After categorizing and sorting plastic, it is moved forward in the machine for another step. This is one of the most important ones, including washing away all sorts of impurities. Generally, plastic containers can contain glues, dirt particles, stickers, labels, and many other impurities.
It is essential to remove all such contaminants. If they’re not washed away from the plastic, and the process keeps occurring, it will only lead to the natural deterioration in the superior quality of the plastic product.
This is so because, without washing, the plastic may contain certain chemicals and particles that can be harmful and hazardously toxic. The washing away of plastic occurs with a systematically developed shower system to remove all types of dirt so that the product becomes recyclable again.
4. Resizing into fragments
In this method, plastic materials are allowed to shred and resize into tiny fragments after washing. This reduces the surface area of the material. Imagine a huge brick of butter along with just some amount of butter scrapped with a knife.
Now, can you tell which will melt more easily? Undoubtedly, the tiny amount has been scrapped with a knife. Therefore, on shredding plastic, it becomes easy to melt it. Resizing and modifying the plastic also makes it easy to identify some heavy metallic elements that don’t get washed away in the previous step.
This process occurs with the help of a shredding machine that has fine-sized blades and cutters with pointed edges to chop off the larger molecules into some smaller ones.
5. Quality check
After resizing small plastic fragments, they are checked to ensure their good quality. For the density check, plastic shreds have to undergo some simplified tests specially performed for this purpose.
Not only quality, but these testing methods also help us know the plastic it belongs to. In the first test, plastic shreds are put into a container filled with water. Here, these shreds are classified into two types. The ones which entirely sink at the bottom of the container are selected to be less dense.
On the other hand, those shreds that keep on floating at the water’s surface are denser. There’s another experiment to determine the thickness of plastic in which shreds are put into a windy tunnel.
Here, the lighter shreds start to float, but the ones with greater thickness settle at the bottom as they remain unaffected by the action of wind in the tunnel.
6. Melting and industrial transportation
This is the last step in recycling plastic. It is used to convert the smaller-sized molecules of plastic into bigger molecules to manufacture new products.
The shreds which can pass the quality check are moved to a bit high temperature systematically, wherein they collide with each other and eventually stick tightly. In this step, molds and containers can also be used to ensure that they are transformed into a desirable shape.
From here, they are allowed to cool and are prepared for being sent to some two factories for their usage. This process saves the environment by reducing the trash and harmful emulsions of toxic gases like carbon dioxide into the environment.
Creative ways to reuse cans
• Aesthetic lanterns
Making a paint can lantern is as easy as the name suggests. For this, you just require certain things like an empty paint can, water, marker, cardboard, and a drilling machine.
To start making these lanterns, you have to fill the empty can lantern and freeze it for some time. In the meantime, you can draw some dots with a marker or pen on the cardboard to develop a pattern.
Keep the can out after the water becomes ice and stick the cardboard sheet on it where you just drew some dotted patterns. Try to fix the sheet neatly by using glue. Later, use a drilling machine to drill some holes inside the can.
You have to dig holes only by following the patterns which have been drawn on the cardboard sheet. To give this lantern a finishing touch, you can use any spray paint to color it so that it starts to appear fascinating. With this step, you just have to add a candle to the can, and the lantern is ready to be utilized.
• Plant pots
For making beautiful and cool plant pots, you only need to have a plastic container, some metallic, oil-based paint, a drilling machine, soil, and a plant. Firstly, you have to color the container with thick and dark paint. Later, leave the paint to cool and settle.
After this, you can also make some fun doodles by using different pains. If you’re not much of a doodle arts fan, you can try to draw some patterns or simple drawings, but if you’re unaware of these steps, you can just use a marker or some paint to draw some irregular shapes and patterns on the thick painted base of the plastic container.
After this, you have to use a drilling machine to dig some holes in the container to provide proper ventilation and airflow to the plant. After digging holes, just put a healthy amount of soil inside the container and fix the plant in it.
To this fixed plant, add some more amount of soil. Now, you can keep this pot in your garden or anywhere you prefer.
• Ceiling planters
To make garden planters out of paint cans, you need a can, rope, plant, soil, drilling machine, and oil-based metallic paint. In the very first step, you’re supposed to drill tiny holes in the container by taking the help of a drilling machine.
This enables ventilation within the plant. After drilling these holes, you also have to drill two or four holes at the edges of the containers. Ensure that these holes are thick enough for the rope to pass through them.
Now, take a rope and put one of its ends in a hole. Add another end to the consecutive hole. Later, tie some firm knots so that they do not open. Now, you can paint this container with some oil-based metallic paints.
You can surely miss this step as it is not of much necessity. Later, add soil and fix the plan to hang the rope from the hanger. With this, your planters are ready to be put to use.
Therefore, it is important to carefully dispose of plastic and metal-based cans and never put them into wet waste. For a better safeguard technique, if you have bulks of containers, you can try to contact an agency related to a similar field. In this way, we save a lot of energy and encourage a sustainable lifestyle among people.