Sunday, October 24, 1999

Unused latex paint finds home as recycled Nu-Blend


Local nonprofit does the mixing

BY ANNA GUIDO
Enquirer Contributor

        It's called Nu-Blend, and its makers say it's a high-quality interior/exterior satin-finish paint.

        And it has one other selling point. It helps keep latex paint out of landfills and sewer systems.

        Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, a 21-year-old nonprofit organization, has been making Nu-Blend the past four years by reblending unused latex paint. Hader Hardware stores in Hamilton County — and now Butler County — serve as the paint drop-off sites for homeowners, retail outlets and paint manufacturers.

        “We're growing each month, but it's a very slow, controlled growth,” project director Bill Wojcik said.

        About 400 gallons of paint are collected from nine Hamilton County Hader Hardware stores every two weeks. The reblended paint, which is processed at the Nu-Blend facility on McMicken downtown, is then sold in 5-gallon plastic buckets for $42.50. Most paints cost double that amount — or more.

        “We don't manufacture paint,” Mr. Wojcik said. “We might have 10 half-gallons of different shades of white, and we put them in one big tank and reblend them to make a single shade of white.”

        In Butler County, response to the Nu-Blend paint recycling program has been good, said John Sanks, manager of Hader Hardware at 4727 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.

        “All business is like bananas — it comes in bunches,” Mr. Sanks said. “And so far, this has been pretty consistent. We're picking up about 65 to 75 gallons every two weeks.”

        Keep Cincinnati Beautiful approached Hader Hardware about the program. “It takes up a little space, and it's a little extra work, but it's worth it,” said Hader's general manager, Tim Cable.

        Denise Belanger, staff environmentalist with the Butler County Department of Environmental Services, said until this program was offered, residents and businesses here were encouraged to give their unused paint to someone else to use, to dry it out and dispose of it with their curbside waste, or to take it to an environmental contractor.

        Keep Cincinnati Beautiful would like to expand the Nu-Blend program throughout Greater Cincinnati, but needs to make a slight profit in order to do so.

        “We have a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, and so far, we've not had to give back a nickel to anybody who has purchased our paint,” Mr. Wojcik said. “But right now, we're not even breaking even.”

        He said most paint manufacturers support the program because they eventually may face mandatory recycling requirements by the federal government.

        “It would be an expensive operation because they'd have to open recycling facilities,” he said.

        For more information, call Mr. Wojcik at (513) 352-3711, or page him at (513) 929-7435.

       



Voluntary campaign donations questioned
About the 2 Percent Club
Enquirer endorsements for Cincinnati city council
Enquirer endorsements for Cincinnati school board
HOW WE CHOOSE
With limits off, buy-a-council resumes at record pace
Do voters care enough to send the very best?
Hospitals' deepest cuts still ahead
Area hospital groups
The object is the art
Dine art adorns Cincinnati homes
Dine Exhibit schedule
Major roads closed this weekend
McConnell saves soft money
Study: Airport driving growth
Wade song tops Web's blues chart
Jennifer Love Hewitt is hard not to like
Answerman knows it all
Children's Museum turns 1 ranked No. 3
Children's Museum programs changing
GET TO IT
Dear sales callers: I already have everything I need
CONCERT REVIEW
CSO assistant conductor debuts
Earhartdebut definitely women's work
THEATER REVIEW
DANCE REVIEW'
Martin backers show politics' stupid side
Allergic kids trade away most Halloween treats
Bluegrass' extended family gathers for fans
Campaigners stop at New Hope
City braces for cost of Elsmere jail
Cold front brings hint of winter
Isphording retired, not inactive
BENCHMARKS
Kenton, cities agree on sirens
Kids answer call to make a difference
Local EPA experts helped N.C.
Six-car collision halts bridge traffic
CAPITOL INSIDER
TRISTATE DIGEST
UC student interned with E. Timor activist
United Way push near 75%
- Unused latex paint finds home as recycled Nu-Blend
Uptown clock adorns Oxford logo
Urban Appalachian Council marks 25 years