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 Post subject: Latex paint in compost!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:10 am 
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I have been composting for years, but have no idea what to do with this. My painters rinsed their brushes into my compost bin.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 12:39 pm 
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They didn't do you any real favors, but as long as it was latex, at least they did minimal harm. Latex dries to a plastic material that resists microbial decomposition. At least it should kill anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:28 am 
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gwfrase wrote:
I have been composting for years, but have no idea what to do with this. My painters rinsed their brushes into my compost bin.


If it's acrylic latex, it probably is a styrene and/or butadiene polymer variant, which yields nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons such as styrene/butadiene as breakdown products. That's quite a bit different from natural rubber latex, but then latex paint is designed to resist biodegradation. (Imagine how much non-degradable paint is used in the world in a year and how many brushes are washed off in kitchen sinks!) Even so, a robust compost pile should do as good a job as any with it. I doubt the amount is large, so I'd probably compost away. The option is to dump it, ultimately in a landfill, which I don't think is a very good choice.

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