Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

February, 2006

Reducing Hazardous Waste

Q. Can I use a waste water evaporator to reduce water used to clean up latex paint? Will this process violate any EPA rules?

A. I assume that you want to evaporate off the water in a paint/water waste stream so that you can dispose of a more concentrated waste. If my assumption is correct, then some state agencies will allow you to do this, while other might say that you are treating a hazardous waste. (That assumes that the latex paint sludge is regarded as a hazardous waste). I suggest that you call the RCRA folks at your local state office and ask how they will approach this issue. A somewhat similar situation occurs with folks who want to use a distillation unit to evaporate off and recycle solvents from solventborne paints.

It is possible that because you will not be recycling the water, but rather evaporating it off to the atmosphere, your situation might be regarded more leniently.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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