Many chemicals require special removal, but not many people include paint in this category. It’s true, however, that paint can’t simply be tossed the way you might throw out old food or used paper. Trashing paint the wrong way can lead to serious consequences, so read on to learn how to dispose of paint properly and safely.
Oil-based paints are often considered hazardous waste because of the additives in them. See if you can identify any on the can label, but in case you can’t, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Keep the paint in the can and leave it open to air dry; add an equal amount of kitty litter, sawdust, or a commercial paint hardener to shorten the process. Once it’s dry, take it to a hazardous waste facility to ensure it’s disposed of safely.
Latex-based paints should also be dried first, and can likewise be mixed with drying materials, but there is one major difference: latex paints are generally not considered toxic material. As such, they can be tossed into the trash like other waste materials once it’s dry. However, it’s important not to dump it (or oil-based paints) in the grass or down your drains, as this contaminates the water, soil, and surrounding environment. Should your latex paint have an off smell before you proceed to dry it, chances are it’s already spoiled and needs to be discarded sooner rather than later.
Latex paint can be salvaged for later use by remixing it with newer paint, so if you plan on doing more paint jobs in the future, it may be a good idea to save it until you need it. You might also consider donating any unused paints you have left. Look into various charitable organizations and local programs that might be interested in taking it off your hands. Be sure to seal it tightly and store it in a cool, dry place in the meantime.
Whether you’re decluttering or simply don't need it anymore, knowing how to dispose of paint properly is much better than simply emptying it down the drain. If you aren’t sure where to start or don’t know where to go, however, contact Bin There Dump That. Though we can’t accept paint in our loads, we’d be happy to assist you in finding the proper drop-off center or another place to get rid of whatever you have left. Find and call your local Dumpster Consultant for advice on disposing of paint in your local area today.