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Spring-cleaning crack down

By: Lauren Weber The Press-Tribune
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– Editor’s note:This is the last of three articles in honor of Earth Day, sharing ways residents and businesses can reduce their impact on the environment and build a greener city. It’s that time of year again for spring-cleaning. For a completely thorough job, that means cleaning up and clearing out rusty paint tins and aging cleaning supplies to make room for eco-friendly paint products and cleaning agents. For many homeowners the garage is home to outdated, never-been-used or half-used products that should be tossed and replenished with newer, safer products. But residents beware: paint and cleaning supplies can’t be tossed in the garbage – both contain potentially harmful ingredients if they reach the landfill. For safe disposal of household hazardous material the Western Placer Waste Management Authority’s Materials Recovery Facility, or “Murf” as it is commonly referred to, offers a free drop-off program to Placer County residents. Seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Placer County residents are welcome to drop off oil-based and latex paint, paint thinners, paint strippers, floor and furniture cleaner, drain cleaners and household-cleaning products with bleach, ammonia and chlorine. In addition to paint and cleaning supplies, the facility accepts small aerosol cans, pool chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. The only limitation is the amount – there is a 15-gallon or 125-pound maximum for products per visit. “The basic concern is anything leaking into the ground,” said Stephanie Thompson, junior engineer for WPWMA, which is the reason behind not trashing paint and cleaners in the garbage. At the household hazardous waste location within the MRF, the material is separated by type and is picked up by two companies. Evergreen Environmental takes motor oil and latex paint and Clean Harbors takes just about everything else, Thompson said. “Whatever can’t be recycled gets disposed of properly,” she added. The paint’s hazard stems from is the volatile organic compounds that emit the odor, producing poor indoor air quality and releasing chemicals into the atmosphere. But many paint companies are catering to the green movement and have been creating low or zero VOC paint products. Kelly-Moore Paints in Roseville is one company offering residents more environmentally friendly options for interior painting. “It’s really getting big, this green thing,” said Bob Horvath, Roseville’s Kelly-Moore Paints manager. The company offers three lines of eco-friendly products including Kelly-Moore Enviro-Cote paint, which is an interior wall paint with minimal VOCs offering a wide range of bases, and Ecoat paint, a recycled paint blended from post-consumer content. In May, the shop will house YOLO Colorhouse paint that has no VOCs and low odor. Additionally, large home product companies, like Home Depot, are advertising their eco-friendly product lines including paint and cleaning. “We have about 280 products specifically that are eco-friendly, environmentally-friendly,” said Fady Jbily, assistant manager of Home Depot on Sunrise Avenue in Roseville. “We’re part of the eco-friendly march.” Their Eco Options program gives customers choices for safer supplies such as Home Depot’s exclusive FreshAire Choice paint and drywall primer with zero VOCs, which lets homeowners re-enter the room immediately. Additionally, the home improvement store carries organic soils, plants and reduced toxicity cleaners including window cleaner, stain remover and mold control products. All of these products, although safer, still must be disposed of properly and the city of Roseville has many options. The city offers a free pick-up program for electronic and hazardous waste including batteries, televisions and motor oil. To schedule a pick-up appointment, call 774-5780. In today’s world with the abundance of eco-friendly paints and cleaning products, tidying up the home can be a task that not only keeps a home healthy, but the environment as well.