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What to do with Empty Paint Cans?

Paint Can Disposal Locations - Paint Can Recycling

Paint can waste is a major problem. After painting, paint cans are difficult to dispose. Many painters ask the question: What to do with Empty Paint Cans? Paint cans should not be placed in the regular trash or recycle bins. Never pour unused paint down your drain, down a sewer, or in the trash.

The best way to dispose of paint cans, is recycle it.

Paint cans containing oil-based paints, stains, paint thinners and solvents are classified as Household Hazardous Waste because they contain toxic chemicals and have a significant negative impact on human health and to our environment. When paint cans rupture in landfills, they can release petrochemical solvents and other dangerous toxins into the soil. Some latex paint cans are considered regulated hazardous materials and should not be disposed in common trash. Many community recycling programs accept latex paint cans if they are empty and cleaned.

Always check your local recycling regulation before disposal of paint cans. Instead of dumping paint cans, you can bring them to a local Community Paint Clean Up / Recycling event.

For information on how to organize a paint can roundup, email for details using our Contact Page

To obtain information on starting a Latex Paint Recycling Program for your Community, please consult Paint Recycling Program Directory.