Recycled paint costs less, works just as well

What: Recycled latex paint is made from unused latex paint collected from households, governments, businesses and painting contractors. New materials are added to improve the paint's consistency and make standard colors. Recycled paint can contain up to 100-percent post-consumer content, according to Earth Advantage, a nonprofit green-building organization based in Oregon.

Application: Using recycled-content latex paint offers a number of environmental and economic benefits.

First, by incorporating used paint, the manufacturer diverts it from taking up space in hazardous waste facilities.

Second, using recycled-content products lowers the demand for limited new resources.

Third, using recycled-content paint reduces the embodied energy of a home and the amount of pollution that results from the extraction, transport, and disposal of the materials necessary to build it.

Fourth, recycled paint costs less than virgin paint, yet its performance is the same.

Finally, in addition to the environmental benefits of its recycled content, choosing paints with a low-VOC content also helps protect air quality both indoors and out.

Benefits: Applying recycled paint shows environmental stewardship. Recycled paint performance is equal to non-recycled paint and is usually less expensive (up to 50 percent) than its non-recycled counterpart. Plus, there are environmental benefits, including a reduced impact on landfills from reusing waste products.

Challenges: The color selections may be limited and matching colors in the future may be harder than using newly mixed paint from scratch.

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