November 2021
Backyard Conversation
Connecting Community + Conservation
Welcome to the Backyard Conversation! Each month we'll be sharing a conservation topic from a more personal viewpoint for our readers. To make this successful, I want to hear feedback from you! I'll include a poll at the bottom regarding our topic and share links to some of our partner organizations with similar messages. So, let's get to it!
Water Quality
Dry It, Don't Dump It!
Does anybody start feeling antsy when the cold weather sets in? As you're spending more time inside, you start thinking about tasks around the house like cleaning out old junk, painting, and fixing this or that. You may find yourself cleaning out the garage or basement of old paint cans or aerosols. But how do you dispose of it properly? Not the storm drain or our waterways! It's bad for water quality, and you could even be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars if you allow paint, dry wall compound, concrete washout or other chemicals to go down a storm drain. So, let's talk about how to dispose of paint and other chemicals properly.
What do I do with old or leftover paint?

Thanks to our partners at City of Columbus, we have developed some informational handouts regarding paint disposal for businesses for our "Dry it, Don't Dump It" program. Here's how to dispose of old or leftover paint properly:

Dry It. If you have latex based paint, you can dry it with cat litter, sand, sawdust, or a commercial hardener, and put it out with the trash. It needs to be completely dry in order to go out with the trash. Check out this video on how to do it!
Drop It Off. Franklin County residents can drop household hazardous waste items off at SWACO's partner disposal facility, EEI, Inc. Call EEI ahead to verify hours and any costs at 614-294-1300. Additionally, keep an eye out for local drop-off collection events held by SWACO with their municipal partners. To learn more about SWACO's household hazardous waste program, click here or watch this webinar.
But First: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of the best ways to reduce your waste is to reduce how much you buy! Buy just enough paint to get the job done. Many paint brands or hardware stores like Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Lowe's have calculators to determine just how much paint you will need. Keep some leftover for touchups, and find ways to repurpose leftover paint for another project!

Lots of people, organizations or businesses could use leftover paint for projects or products. For example, the Ohio Materials Marketplace is an online platform for businesses to connect and find reuse or recycling solutions for waste and by-products. Additionally, you could donate paint to individuals, local groups or charities who could reuse the paint for a project such as a furniture rehab, housing projects, animal shelters, and more.

To learn more about sustainability from reducing your household water consumption to reducing the amount of plastic in your life, visit Greenspot Columbus.
Kudos to Our Water Quality Partners!

The Water Quality Partnership is a voluntary stormwater-specific pledge program for Franklin County businesses that is designed to share information on best stormwater practices while helping municipalities reach their outreach goals. Learn more about the program here.

Want to know what businesses in your community are Water Quality Partners? Find out here! Keep an eye out for the window cling at local businesses near you.
Help Improve the District's Resources on Climate Change

We are working with a student capstone group from Ohio State University to help improve our resources on climate change. Please check out our climate change webpage, and then take the survey. Your feedback will be used to help improve our resources and is greatly appreciated!
How do you dispose of leftover paint?
Repurpose with another project!
Donate it
Dry it with hardeners
Drop off at collection events
Drop off at EEI
I don't have any leftover, I use it all!
N/A - I don't do projects ;)
Here are the full results from last month's poll about how readers manage their fall leaves:

"Leaf" it on the lawn

Mix & Match


Community Leaf Collection


N/A - I don't have any leaves to manage!
Mikaela Mohr
Outreach Program Specialist
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
1404 Goodale Blvd. Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43212 
p: 614-486-9613, ext. 131 | e:
Connect with us online!
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District | (614) 486-9613 |