• Buy only what you need. An average of two gallons of household paint is sold for each person in the United States each year. Latex paint is not hazardous waste, although thousands of tax dollars are spent each year disposing of latex paint that was erroneously thought to be hazardous waste. Latex paint can be safely managed at home.
• Store paint so it lasts for years. When properly stored, paint will last for years. Cover the opening with plastic wrap and replace the lid, making sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Store the paint can upside down. The paint will create a tight seal around the lid, keeping the paint fresh until you need it again.
• Use all of your paint. Leftover paint can be used on touch-up jobs and smaller projects. You can also mix smaller quantities of similar colors of latex paint to use on larger jobs, or as a primer on jobs where the final finish is not critical. (Always make sure you read and follow all label instructions when applying paint.)
• Donate or exchange your leftover paint. If you cannot use your leftover paint, donate it to community groups, theatre groups, schools, churches and others who need or want it. Another good way to get rid of your unwanted paint is to organize or participate in a neighbor-to-neighbor or community paint exchange.
• Oil-based paints are toxic. They should be taken to the Jefferson County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Please donate only during business hours, currently Fridays, 10 am to 12 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Never leave materials if the facility is closed. Leaving materials outside the gate while the facility is closed is a violation of Jefferson County Ordinance #585, with a potential fine of $250.
As a Last Resort, Dispose Of Your Latex Paint Properly.
1. Leave your latex-based paints to air dry, away from children and pets.
2. Add absorbent: shredded newspapers, kitty litter, or a commercial quick-drying cement base product like Quikcrete©.
3. When the paint is completely dry, dispose of in your regular garbage can.