The Right Way To Dispose Of Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin has been taking the DIY world by storm lately. Although the material was once associated with manufacturing, it's now popping up in customized (often floral or gold-filled) wall décor, coasters, and more. Many resin makers are even finding success with selling their creations! According to a market report by Fortune Business Insights, the resin market is even expected to grow an average of 4.4% each year by 2028. Whether you're an avid resin creator or are just getting into the medium, it's a great time to tinker around and express your creativity.

While it can be fun to create beautiful resin pieces, it's important to clean up afterwards and dispose of all materials safely. Since epoxy resin is made from extremely hazardous chemicals (via West System), carelessness is very dangerous — you can easily ruin your plumbing or contaminate your local ecosystem. Fortunately, proper resin disposal is simple, easy, and eliminates the risk of chemicals seeping into the environment. 

Disposing of epoxy resin

When you work with resin, you generally pour it into a mold and then cure the piece. Leftover material has a long shelf life, so it can be stored in an airtight container and reused to minimize waste. However, you should never dispose of resin in liquid form. Not only are the chemicals extremely dangerous, but you pose the risk of the resin hardening in a problematic spot. For example, you should never flush resin down the toilet because it will harden in the pipes and block them. Dumping resin down a storm drain poses the same risk, but on a larger scale and may result in small-scale local floods. Plus, the toxic chemicals will bleed into the local ecosystem, as noted by Ethical Shift. As if that weren't enough, resin liquid will frequently pool into hard-to-reach places and is extremely durable once it cures, making it particularly difficult to remove.

Fortunately, once epoxy resin has been fully cured, it can usually be thrown out with your other non-hazardous waste (via EpoxyCraft). While exact regulations about resin disposal may vary across different municipalities, solid resin is generally much safer to dispose than its liquid counterpart.

Disposing of resin containers

Even if you have gone to great lengths to cure every last bit of liquid resin, you'll still need to get rid of the containers. Generally, these are left in sunlight for several days to fully cure, then they are tightly sealed and thrown out with normal garbage, per Resin Obsession. However, you can also dispose of resin containers at a hazardous waste center. Again, local regulations may vary so it's best to consult your municipality's waste collection policies.

If you opt to take your containers to a waste collection center, do not wash them beforehand as this can contaminate the water supply. Instead, close each container as tight as possible so that no resin residue can escape. You might also want to label the containers so that the hazardous waste collection employees can remember which chemicals are involved and how to properly dispose of them.