It isn’t often I come up with things from places I have lived before that I can’t find a substitute in our current location. Today I was reminded of one, the reuse recycling center in the Minneapolis area. I don’t know if that is its official name any more, but it was one of my favorite concepts in recycling.
If you had partial cans of spray paint, lawn fertilizer, house paint, wasp spray that still had a usable amount remaining, you could take it to the reuse center. They would take your usable goods, sort them and group similar items on shelves. On the flip side if you could “shop” the shelves for things that you might be able to use. Paint for your dog house, ant killer for the summer cabin, or something for your craft project. All of it was free (ok nothing is free my tax dollars supported the whole concept). The whole idea was to keep this stuff out of the waste stream, and find an appropriate use for it so all that was left was the container for the landfill.
I kept almost nothing except paint that matched my current room colors. If I bought insecticide, once I had taken care of my problem, I wanted it gone, and it was. I was amazed at the goodies you could find there. I could spend half-an-hour at the center going up and down the aisles imagining what I could do with this or that. I once found a gallon of paint I used to paint my guest room, no one was ever the wiser and I saved some bucks.
I wished desperately for the reuse center today as I mixed together leftover paint into a single can. It made a full gallon of some sort of creamish color. Since you can’t throw liquid paint into the landfill it has to be used or dried. A gallon is too much to dry. Our solution to left over paint to to paint our chicken coop or shed insides again. We used to just paint away with the odds and ends of left over paint and it ended up always looking like a bad Partridge Family bus paint job. We have evolved to striving for a consistent hue. This commonality of color is achieved by squeezing a tube of bright yellow acrylic paint into the gallon of leftover paints and stir it up well before we apply it. Some times it is a brighter yellow than other times, but it does look like it all belongs together sot of this way. So today in spite of the fact I was in no mood to paint I put another coat of paint on the inside of the shed. I do feel great that eliminated six half-used cans of paint under the stairs; clutter eliminated. The inside of the shed or at least part of it is shiny and bright again; the wood is protected by yet another coat of yellowish paint. That was how I spent the tail end of my Labor Day holiday.