I found this information at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/condemo/paint/. At the website they are talking about how latex paint is recycled. Other paints have different processes.
Here is the info that I found:
“Recycled paint” is reprocessed or “remanufactured” by steps that usually include the following:
Filtering. Most paint as collected contains a small amount of filterable solids, so the paint must be filtered if it is to be applied by spraying.
Mixing with standard paint. Though some recycled paint is 100 percent recycled, most recycled paint is mixed with standard paint. The added new paint is usually white, which adds coloring flexibility. Most recycled latex paint is at least 50 percent recycled content; however, it is available in a wide range of other percentages as well.
Adding pigments. Pigments are added as needed to achieve particular shades.
Adjusting pH. New latex paint has a pH between 7.5 and 9.5. Paint tends to lower in pH during storage. Adding amines or ammonia can restore the pH.
Sometimes, water-based or latex, paint can be recycled into new paint or it can be used in creating nonpaint products such as cement. Oil-based paint is usually used for fuel blending. This means that it’s burned to create energy at a power plant.
These options avoid the absorption of toxic chemicals in paints into our soil and groundwater. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 69 million gallons of paint are left over annually in the United States alone.
However, if you must dispose of it, check the labels on the cans for proper disposal. Or contact your local household hazardous waste center. Disposal and recycling of paints depend on whether the paint is water or oil/acrylic based. “You can also search for recycling options by ZIP code by clicking on “Paint recycling” at Earth911 or by calling the group’s free service line at 800-253-2687.” -http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/resource-center/easy-ways-to-properly-dispose-of-leftover-paint-8-07/overview/0708_ways_to_dispose_of_leftover_paint.htm
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