How To Dispose of Turpentine

Mike Davies | Thursday, January 19, 2023

Turpentine is a liquid derived from the resin of certain types of pine trees. It has a variety of industrial and artistic uses, including as a solvent, a source of materials for making varnishes and paints, and as a fuel. However, turpentine can also be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. In this article, we will discuss the uses and production of turpentine, the importance of environmentally-friendly disposal, and methods for recycling and reusing turpentine. We will also highlight companies and organizations that are working to reduce turpentine waste.

Uses and Production of Turpentine

Turpentine is produced by distilling the resin of pine trees, primarily those of the genus Pinus. The resin is harvested by making cuts in the bark of the tree, from which it flows and is collected. The resin is then distilled to separate the turpentine oil from other components.

Turpentine has a wide range of uses, including as a solvent for paints, varnishes, and other coatings. It is also used in the production of certain types of rubber, plastics, and pesticides. In addition, turpentine has been used as a medicinal and cleaning agent, and has even been used as a fuel source.

Importance of Environmentally-Friendly Disposal

Turpentine is a hazardous waste due to its flammability, toxicity, and potential to contaminate soil and water. Improper disposal of turpentine can have serious environmental consequences, such as polluting water sources and harming wildlife. Therefore, it is important to dispose of turpentine in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Recycling and Reusing Turpentine

Recycling turpentine is an effective way to reduce waste and conserve resources. Some companies specialize in collecting and recycling used turpentine. The recycled turpentine can be refined and reused for various industrial purposes.

Another option is to reuse turpentine in-house, rather than disposing of it. For example, artists can reuse turpentine for cleaning brushes and palettes.

Companies and Organizations Working to Reduce Turpentine Waste

There are several companies and organizations that are working to reduce turpentine waste. For example, some companies have developed closed-loop systems to capture and recycle turpentine fumes generated during the production process. Others have implemented recycling programs for used turpentine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is turpentine toxic? A: Yes, turpentine is toxic when ingested or inhaled in large amounts. It is also harmful to the skin and eyes.

Q: Can turpentine be recycled? A: Yes, turpentine can be recycled by specialized companies and reused for industrial purposes.

Q: How do I dispose of turpentine? A: Turpentine should be disposed of as hazardous waste, in accordance with local regulations. It should not be poured down the drain or disposed of in a landfill.


Turpentine is a versatile liquid with a wide range of uses, but it can also be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. By recycling and reusing turpentine and supporting companies and organizations that are working to reduce waste, we can conserve resources and protect the environment.

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