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Usually I let waste dry up in the case of cement/paint, then throw away.

But often times waste is diluted in water. Should I bag these up and then throw away?

I do not want to put it down the sink, or bury it in dirt, or make a mess in a trash bin.

What's the best thing to do here?

3 Answers 3

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Drying paint out is smart.

Most cities have a hazardous household waste disposal service at the municipal landfill, likely as part of a strategy to encourage citizens not to simply pitch mineral spirits or motor oil or oil-soaked rags or consumer herbicides, pesticides, etc.

Have you checked there?

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  • thanks. I went ahead and checked and they have household hazardous material drop off spots. free and container max is 5 gallons with a lid. I think this answers my question. I also got a suggestion to use kitty litter as an absorbant.
    – Vigrond
    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:25
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I thought about this just today as I was working with cement products (mortar and a cement based white paint). I had a few buckets of water with both lumps of cement and diluted cement.

Pouring it in the drain is a really bad idea, specially if the cement has not yet hardened, as it might harden in the sewage system.

As far as I know there should be nothing toxic in regular cement, except for its corrosive properties when not diluted.

I chose to pour the bucket out on a piece of grass, and when the summer comes and have dried the whole thing up, I will pick up the rubble with my hands.

Afterwards I realized that an old piece of fabric could have been used as a filter. Just put a towel on the grass. Pour the bucket on the towel. Either throw it in the trash now wet, or wait until it has dried up.

At construction sites I have seen masons just pour the jars on the ground, which leaves cakes of hardened cement here and there.

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  • lime in cement will also prevent anything from growing in the dirt that its poured in
    – Vigrond
    Mar 19, 2020 at 21:50
  • @Vigrond: I think you are wrong. First of all farmers add lime to the soil to improve the yield (my grand dad had the job of digging lime with a shovel from lime quarries for exactly that purpose). Secondly, the grass is growing fine on my lawn, almost 4 weeks after I poured out the cement water. When I have the time I will try to submit photos of the grass growing well next to the cement rubble. Do you have any experience with lime preventing grass from growing, or any theory to back up your claim? Apr 5, 2020 at 11:26
  • calcium hydroxide has a ph between 12-13. Plant Soil should have a ph between 5-7. additionally many mortars or thinsets have additional chemical compounds such as titanium dioxide and acrylics that will pollute the soil. it is not something i would consider "good".
    – Vigrond
    Apr 5, 2020 at 16:34
  • The Ph value of calcium hydroxide does not matter that much in itself; the amount / concentration is just as important. The lime that farmers use probably have a very high Ph too. Regarding the other chemicals in cement; of course that could be a problem, and certainly I don't recommend spreading hazardous chemicals in nature. However, I still think you were wrong when you said that it will "prevent anything from growing", unless we are dealing with massive amounts :) Apr 5, 2020 at 20:32
  • it would be relative to the ph of the soil you're dumping it in, how much waste you have, and how much rainfall you get in your climate. It may not take much at all. While the statement I made was a general statement, I do not believe it is incorrect for everyone. And if you have the weigh those questions before dumping, probably not a great idea.
    – Vigrond
    Apr 6, 2020 at 0:58
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When the waste is non-toxic I dump that water into a spot of dirt.

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