Old paint is any paint that is no longer usable. This can be because it has dried out, become too thick to use, or contains lead. Lead paint is particularly dangerous, as it can cause serious health problems if ingested or inhaled.
If you have old paint cans in your garage, you may be wondering “where can I dispose of old paint”? Fortunately, there are several options available to you. This blog post will discuss the different ways to get rid of old paint and where to take it.
Paint Disposal Options
There are several ways that you can dispose of paint:
1. Dispose of Oil-Based Paint
Oil-based paint is made with petroleum-based solvents and contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are released into the air as the paint dries, which can harm your health.
Oil- and alkyd-based paints are considered hazardous waste. They may harm sources of drinking water if disposed of incorrectly. As a result, rather than tossing oil- or alkyd-base paints in the garbage, contact your local waste authority to learn how to handle oil-based paints.
In most situations, you’ll take expired paint to a local hazardous waste collection center. Alternatively, leave it on the street during your city’s hazardous waste collection day.
2. Dispose of Water-Based Paint
Water-based paint is also made with petroleum-based solvents but contains fewer VOCs than oil-based paint. Low-VOC or zero-VOC paint is available, and these products have even lower VOC levels.
Water-based paints can be disposed of in several ways. One option is to dry the paint and place it in the trash. You can do this by opening the can and allowing the paint to harden in the sun or adding kitty litter or sand to speed up the process. Once the paint is dry, it can be placed in a garbage bag and thrown away with your regular trash.
Another option for water-based paint disposal is to take it to a local recycling center that accepts latex paint. To find a center near you, visit Earth911.com and type “paint recycling” into the search bar.
3. Dispose of Latex Paint
Latex paint is a type of water-based paint. Solidified latex paint is the only waste that should be put in the garbage and sent to a landfill. If there’s just a little latex paint left in the can, remove the lid and let it air dry rather than wasting time and money on expensive dumpster rentals.
Pour the latex paint onto a newspaper-covered surface and let it dry instead of cleaning up your mess with water. For collection, throw away the newspaper, dried paintings, and an empty can.
To dry larger quantities of paint, add cat litter or shredded newsprint to the paint, stir, then allow it to air dry in the can. Place the can and its dried contents in your garbage for regular collection.
Paint hardener is available at many home improvements stores for a few dollars; use it on the paint (up to 2/3 of a gallon), let it harden, and toss everything away.
Where to Donate Paint to Do the Best?
If the paint is still in good condition, you may consider donating it. This is a great option if you have leftovers from a home project or recently moved and no longer need all the paint that came with your new house.
Paint can be donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStores, local theaters, and schools. You can also contact your city or county government’s waste management department to see if they have any programs where paint can be donated.
To donate paint, take it to the nearest donation center. Make sure to call ahead to see if they accept latex or oil-based paints, as some centers only take one or the other. You should also check with the center to see if they have special requirements, such as needing the paint in a certain container.
Most centers will only accept latex paint less than five years old and oil-based paint less than two years old. If your paint is older than this, you’ll need to dispose of it as hazardous waste.
Paint disposal can be tricky, but it’s important to do it correctly to protect the environment. The best way to dispose of paint depends on the type of paint and its condition. Contact your local waste management department for guidance if you’re unsure what to do with your paint.
Can You Throw Away Paint?
The short answer is no. You cannot simply throw away paint. Paint is considered a hazardous waste material, and as such, it must be disposed of properly. If you were to throw away paint cans or containers, they would end up in a landfill where they would eventually leak and contaminate the soil and water.
Can latex paint be recycled?
Yes, latex paint can be recycled. However, most recycling centers will only accept latex paint less than five years old. If your paint is older than this, you’ll need to dispose of it as hazardous waste.