Waste Management: How to Safely Dispose of Paint

paintIf you’ve decided to make a color change in your home or office and still have partial cans of the old color in storage, it’s time to get rid of them.

Disposing of paint isn’t as straightforward as just tossing the old cans in the garbage.

There is a special protocol that must be followed, especially for business and residential waste collection in Connecticut.

Determine Your Paint Type

First, you must determine if your paint contains any hazardous chemicals. If you aren’t sure if your paint contains hazardous chemicals, and can’t find that information on the label, on the side of caution, contact a waste management company in Connecticut to discuss your options.

spray paint - waste management in ct

Spray Paint

Contain solvents and propellants, so they are required to be delivered to a hazardous waste drop-off site.

oil based paint - waste management in ct

Oil Based Paint

Contain enamel, lacquer, shellac and varnish, which must be disposed of at a hazardous waste collection point.

latex paint - waste management in ctLatex Paint

Any latex paints produced before 1992 may contain mercury and should also be taken to a hazardous waste collection point.

artist paint - waste management in ctArtist Paint

Artist paints are a tricky subject, but they almost always should be handled as hazardous waste. The only exception is water-based artist acrylics.

Latex Paint Disposal

Latex paints produced after 1992 can be disposed of with normal trash, but only after the paint within the cans has hardened and the cans have been emptied. This is relatively easy to do if you follow these steps:

  1. Remove the lid from the paint can and allow the paint within to dry. If there is more than ¼ of a can, mix in sawdust, concrete mix, cat litter or a commercial paint hardener to speed up the process.
  2. Take the dried paint out of the can and wrap it in newspaper or a plastic grocery bag. Use a butter knife to pry it away from the sides if necessary. The dried paint can also be cut in half to make removal easier.
  3. Wrap the paint can lid separately, and toss it, the dried-out paint can and the latex paint in the household or business waste container. The can must be open and visibly empty, so the sanitation worker can easily identify it as ready for disposal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Many paints must be taken to hazardous waste disposal locations.
  • Latex paint can be disposed of in your regular trash.
  • You must dry out latex paint for removal.
  • The lid and latex paint should be wrapped separately.
  • Paint cans must be open and empty for disposal.

Need Help?

Do you need safely removing any hazardous waste materials from your home or office, contact us today!


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