How Do I Dispose of Old Paint?


I often get asked this question, so I thought I would provide some helpful tips on how to dispose of old paint that you probably have been piling up in your garage or basement.

Here’s how to dispose of latex paint without taking it to a recycling center.

First off, if the paint is still good, consider donating it to a school, charity, community center, Habitat for Humanity, or maybe a local theater or place of worship. These places are often on a limited budget and would appreciate free supplies.

Otherwise, here are some steps to take to get rid of your old latex paint.

If the paint is completely dried, it’s safe to put in with your household trash.

If the paint is still in liquid form, add about equal parts cat litter to the latex paint in the can and stir until the paint is absorbed and let it sit for about an hour or so. When the mixture is completely dry, you can put it in the trash. If you paint cans are more than half full, pour the paint into another less filled can or pour it out onto some heavy plastic or a lined box and mix with the cat litter and let it dry.

It’s always a good idea to check with your local trash hauler to see if there are any restrictions but this method is acceptable in most townships.


Safety Note: Make sure you do this in a safe location where small children and pets can’t get to it!


Oil based paints are hazardous material and cannot be put in your trash. I recommend locating a local hazardous waste collection site and taking it there. There is no dedicated drop off facility in many townships, but if you google hazardous waste collection sites in your town, you’ll find collection event days and times posted.



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