Why Does Paint Disposal Matter?
As with any potentially hazardous household waste, properly disposing of paint is important to protect our environment. Most paints contain petroleum products, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and other potentially toxic materials. When poured down a household drain, storm drain, or onto the ground, paint eventually ends up in our rivers, marshes, and ocean, where it can be harmful to wildlife, fisheries, and human health. Pouring unused paint down household drains also causes sewage treatment to be less effective and more expensive by disrupting the microbes used in the process.
When liquid paint is disposed of in the trash, it often ends up spilling during transportation or disposal, creating a mess, contaminating potentially recyclable materials, and spilling out into the environment. By properly disposing of your unused paint, you can help to protect our environment and water resources.
Each Kind of Paint is Different
While it’s true that no paint should be dumped down the drain, the correct way to dispose of it depends on what kind of paint it is. Each kind of paint (latex paint, oil paint, and spray paint) should be dealt with differently.
Latex paint is water-based, and when it is in solid form, it is not considered hazardous waste. So the best way to dispose of latex paint is by drying it completely, then putting it in the trash.
Due to its flammability, oil-based paint is considered a hazardous material in any form (solid, liquid, or vapor). Oil-based paints must be disposed of using commercial paint disposal.
Spray paint cans are highly pressurized and can explode with heat or pressure, so they cannot be disposed of in the household trash unless they are empty.
Is Your Paint In
If your paint is in good condition (not dried or separated), you may be able to donate it!
- Find a neighbor or friend who can use it. Post on social media, online neighborhood forums, or with a flyer listing what paint you have.
- Starlandia Supply accepts donations of all kinds of paints, including latex, oil-based, and spray paint.