Can You Throw Away Old Paint?

Posted on: 13 August 2015

Garbage collection does allow some kinds of old paint to be thrown away. However, not all types of paint can be thrown away, and all paint should be recycled or reused before being thrown away. Knowing what to do with your paint and paint cans can help you when your paint project is over and it's time to clean up. 

Use It

Better than throwing away your old paint is using it on another project. Whether you've just finished painting the walls of a room or finished painting a piece of furniture, ask yourself what else can be done with your paint. For example, if you've just finished painting the walls of a room, you may have furniture you'd like to paint to match. It's also smart at this time to set aside some leftover paint for storage, in case you need to touch up something later.

Give It Away

Many community organizations will take old paint when it's needed. If you're trying to give away your old paint, contact churches, charities and schools in your area. Even if they don't need your old paint, they may know of another organization that does. Any organizations that do a lot of building, including community theaters and organizations that build housing for low-income families, are likely to have a use for your old paint.

Dispose of It Properly

If you can't use your old paint, you can't give it away and you don't want to store it, then it's time to dispose of your paint properly. Many states now have hazardous waste facilities that accept oil-based paint for disposal. Contact your local sanitation department to find out what facility is nearest to you.

Many of these same facilities that accept oil-based paint for disposal will also accept latex paint for recycling and redistribution. Some of this latex paint will be given away, some of it will be mixed together with other paints, and some of it will be made into other products. 

Alternatively, latex paint can also be thrown away at home. To do this, dump your old latex paint into something absorbent, like old kitty litter or shredded newspaper. Once the paint has dried, it can be thrown away. Empty paint cans should be recycled. 

Recycling and reusing your old paint is a much better alternative to throwing it away. When your paint projects are finished, a few phone calls and a short trip in the car may be all it takes to do the right thing for your community. Contact a professional garbage collection service, like Fly By Nite Disposal, for more information on any additonal questions you may have.