Habitat for Humanity’s “ReStore” creates a new home for paint and hazardous materials in Portage County

Stacks of unwanted latex paint donated by Portage County residents.

Izzy Stewart Reporter

Portage County residents can dispose of unwanted latex paint cans through Habitat for Humanity’s latex paint recycling program.

The local nonprofit organization’s latex paint recycling program launched June 1 and will be a drop-off location indefinitely. 

The program was created due to a lack of places to drop off hazardous waste in Portage County and to keep the products from landfills, according to Habitat for Humanity’s community organizer Dominique Bollenbacher. 

“It is really hard to get rid of paint, so this is a huge service for the community,” Bollenbacher said. “Throwing away these materials does a lot more harm than good so we want to try to stop that.” 

Once Habitat for Humanity collects the latex paint cans, they send them to a company that recycles the paint into new colors that are then given back to the ReStore to sell to the community at a much lower price compared to other hardware stores. 

The ReStore is full of items to refurbish, remodel, renew and redefine one’s home. They accept the donations of newer building supplies, furniture and appliances.

Afterward the ReStore sells them at discounted prices and Habitat for Humanity uses the proceeds to build and rehabilitate houses in Portage County for those in need of affordable housing. 

Tracy Cook, cashier at the ReStore, said she would receive calls from customers asking where they can drop off latex paint cans and the best answer she could give was to look online.

“A lot of people do not have the knowledge on where to go or how to even find out where to go.” Cook said in regards to disposing of the latex paint cans. She expressed her excitement toward the ReStore now being a drop-off location for the community through the latex paint recycling program. 

“I like the program because I know the hazardous waste won’t be going to a landfill somewhere.” Cook said.

Individuals can bring their unwanted latex paint cans to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore located at 1510 South Water Street in Kent, Ohio between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. A fee of $2 per container will be applied at the time of the drop off. 

Izzy Stewart is a crisis and recovery reporter. Contact them at [email protected]