If you have cans of leftover paint from various home renovation projects and wondered how you’re suppose to dispose of it, the right way, then read on for all the how to deets…
What type of paint is it?
In this article, I will be addressing 3 types of paint:
- spray paint
- oil based and
- latex (water based)
The contents in spray paint are under high pressure so you CANNOT dispose of cans filled with paint into your household garbage. They can explode if exposed to high heat or pressure in a garbage truck and even a small amount of paint left in the aerosol can can be an environmental hazard. The good news is it’s very easy to dispose of it once you empty the cans.
How to Dispose of Spray Paint
- Lay out newspaper inside cardboard to create a contained working area
- Shake each can and test it for paint content by pressing on the nozzle pointing towards your work area. If no paint sprays out and there is no hissing noise, then the paint can is empty and you can dispose of the can in your household garbage bin.
- If there is paint, then continue to spray the can of paint until all the paint has been emptied from the can and dispose of the completely empty can in your household garbage bin.
NOTE: You risk being fined if you dispose of partially empty paint cans in the trash. Don’t risk it or our environmental health. It’s very easy to do it the right way. Just follow the instructions above.
Oil Based Paint
Oil based paint is considered hazardous waste so it MUST BE taken to a recycling center. In many states it’s illegal to dispose of oil based paint in your regular household garbage. Do it the right way and use this link to find a local drop-off station in your area OR google your Hazardous Household Waste disposal near me for local resources.
LATEX PAINT (water based paint)
Latex paint is very easy to dispose of. Here are your options:
Easiest Way to Dispose of Latex Paint
- Use this same link to find a local drop-off station in your area
- Call your local Kelly Moore Paint store and ask if they have room in their recycling program. They are limited to the amount of paint they can accept in their weekly recycling but they can tell you how much they can accept at any given time. You may have to do more than one trip or go to more than one location is you are in a rush to get it out of your house.
Dispose of Latex Paint with a little work
- You can dispose of dried paint cans in your household trash bin. When you’re finished using up a can of paint or if there isn’t much paint left, remove the lid and let it air dry and once it is dry then it can be tossed into your trash bin. Keep the can and lid separate so it’s obvious the paint can is dry.
- If there is still paint in the can, you can add equal parts of kitty litter to the can to absorb the leftover paint. Let it sit for an hour or two and dispose of the dried paint/kitty litter mixture in the trash and dispose of the dried paint can with the lid removed in the trash as well.
- If there is a lot of paint, you can get a box and pour kitty litter into it and then pour the paint into the kitty litter to be absorbed. You will need equal parts kitty litter to paint. Let it completely dry and then dispose of the dried mixture into the trash and then the dried paint can and separated lid can be disposed of in the trash.
I recently cleared out several cans of old paint from my client’s home and just dropped it off at two local Kelly Moore Paint stores. I hear that other paint stores also do this although I couldn’t find any info on their websites. The easiest way to check is to call.
Doesn’t it feel good to clear out old, unused items? I love it!