Got Latex Paint?
Please do not submit latex paint to EHS for hazardous waste collections.
Thousands of tax dollars are spent each year disposing of latex paint as hazardous when, in fact, it is not hazardous.
Use it up!
Small amounts of paint can be mixed with other colors or bulked together and used as a primer coat or on jobs where the final finish is not critical.
Avoid creating waste at the start. Buy only what you need. One gallon of paint will cover between 250 and 350 square feet, depending on the porosity of the surface to be covered. A gallon of paint will cover closer to 250 square feet of surfaces that are more porous.
Dry it up!
•All residual/leftover paint must be hardened or dried.
•Remove lids from cans, and put both lids and cans into a plastic trash bag along with your regular trash.
Cans 1/4 or less full
•Simply remove the lid and place can in a safe, well-ventilated area.
•Cans 1/4 or less will dry in a few days.
Cans more than 1/4 full
Waste Paint Hardener is available at Paints stores and most area hardware stores. Mulch, kitty litter, or shredded paper may also be used as a bulking/drying agent. (Waste Paint Hardener is also handy for handling spills. One bag can thicken and contain a spilled gallon.)
1. Protect your work surface by lining it with old newspaper.
2. Add Waste Paint Hardener to can. One packet treats up to one gallon of unwanted latex or water-based paint.
3. Stir and mix thoroughly. For best results, add up to one cup of water. Water will activate the Hardener.
4. Set aside for 30 minutes. At the end of that time, paint will have a tacky, oatmeal-like consistency, but will not spill out.
5. Your paint is now ready for disposal.
Pass it on!
Donate unopened cans of paint. Many schools, religious groups, community groups, and theater groups will accept unopened cans of paint, especially white paint. Even a neighbor may need some extra paint. Also, check your paint store's policy on returning unopened cans of paint.