Recently I've noticed alot of painters advertising that they are ECO-Friendly. It was bound to happen - I mean ECO anything is on trend. I personally feel that it would be fantastic if everyone in the industry adopted ECO-Friendly practices.
What I am worried about is clients getting not-exactly-what-they're-paying-for.
What does ECO-Friendly mean when it comes to painting?
It could mean that a painter uses only 0 VOC (volatile organic compounds - the smelly stuff that kills brain cells). This is a great solution for those with small children, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
It could mean that a painter recycles their sundries material i.e., masking paper, poly, etc.
It could mean proper disposal. Proper disposal is the single most important thing that a painter can do to be ECO-Friendly.
The truth of that matter is that proper disposal is not easy for contractors in Calgary; most have piles of cans in their garage. These days contractors must take their unused paint & solvents to the city landfill to dispose of them correctly. That eats up a lot of time considering they are usually painting a minimum of 8 hours a day, then doing estimates, then book keeping & payroll. I've witnessed these guys pouring lacquer thinner on clients bushes and along the side of their house.
"Proper disposal is the single most important thing that a painter can do to be ECO-Friendly."
We [at Cal-Res] are lucky. The Calibre Group of CompaniesTM has been doing ECO-Friendly for a while now. In fact EcoCoat our sister company - located at the same SE Calgary location as us - is responsible for recycling most of the paint in our region.
On the left you can see our processing equipment for the recycling process; I'm going to guess that most painter/decorators cannot fit this in their garage. Not only is it important to us that we follow proper guidelines for disposal we've taken away any excuse for not disposing of paint or solvent properly by making it super convenient.
To the right you can see 1000L containers of recycled paint that was kept out of our beautiful rivers and ecosystems. They are shipped all over the world to Asia, South America, and I'm told that Ghana buys a tonne of this stuff.
In our mind a truly ECO-friendly painter does all that is mentioned above (especially the disposal/recycling part). We emplore others in the industry to adopt these best practices.We hope that one day we can drop the ECO prefix and that every painter will be doing these things and that friendly is the only competitive advantage.
"We hope that one day we can drop the ECO prefix and that every painter will be doing this "
So if your painter claims to be ECO-Friendly make sure that includes disposal. The infrastructure is in place, we just have to use it.
For more information on ECOCOAT visit www.recyclepaint.com