How to Dispose of Unused Paint
Dispose of unused paint
properly and protect the earth.
After finishing your latest DIY paint project it is
time to store the unused paint or properly dispose
of it. The dilemma that most DIY homeowners are
confronted with is what to do with the leftover
paint. One option is to store it in case you'll
need it again for touchup work. However, you might
want to get rid of it but you may not be sure how
to properly do it.
Do not pour the extra paint
into a storm drain or some other public place. Not
only is it illegal, it's a major health and safety
risk for people, animals, and the environment.
Depending on where you live,
your city or town may consider water based paint
such as latex paints and oil-based paints
differently in how they are disposed.
Water-based latex paint is the
most commonly used paint because it is easy to
clean up. Most of the liquid in water-based latex
paint is water. For this reason, some cities and
towns don't consider it a hazardous material. In
this case all you have to do is let the liquid
evaporate and then throw the can in the trash. Or
you can use cat litter or sawdust to absorb the
remaining liquid and then throw it away.
Oil-based paints are a
different matter. They
are always considered hazardous waste. This means
you can't just throw them in the trash and send
them to the dump. Again, not only is this illegal
in most locations, but also puts your community at
For proper disposal of
oil-based paints contact your local town department
of public works for information on how to properly
dispose of hazardous materials. Most cities and
towns run household hazardous waste disposal
programs. There may be occasional neighborhood
pick-ups, collection events, or permanent centers
for hazardous waste disposal.
The easiest method of
disposing of extra paint is to give it away for
free. There are always people looking for free
stuff including paint.
decide to keep the unused paint for future use,
insure that you properly store will be usable in
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