Paints & Coatings

Liquid Paints
Liquid paint can cause big messes when mixed with garbage. Have you ever seen a big splotch or a trail of paint down the street in your neighborhood? That is what often happens when paint is picked up with garbage and compacted in the garbage truck. Aside from the mess, many paints contain toxic materials that are released into the environment when paint isn't properly handled.

Although there are thousands of different paint and paint related products on the market, they consist of 2 general types: oil-based and water-based (latex).

Oil-based products are often flammable, release greater amounts of harmful vapors into the air, and may contain toxic chemicals or metals. Water-based products are generally safer to use and less harmful to the environment.

Dry Paint - Any paint product that is already dry can be safely disposed in the garbage. This includes empty containers. Please leave the lid off when disposing.

Did you know, the SWA recycled over 5,000 gallons of paint last year?

Latex Paint
Smaller amounts of latex paint can be easily dried out and thrown away with your household garbage. Remove the lid and add sand, cat litter, or sawdust to absorb the liquid and let it dry. Leave the lid off of the container when disposing.

Full or partially full cans of latex paint can be brought to a SWA household hazardous waste collection site.

Good, usable latex paint is sent to a paint manufacturer and recycled. The SWA recycled over 5,000 gallons of paint last year. Non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive free recycled paint through the SWA's Community Service Program.

Spray Cans
Aerosol cans are pressurized. In addition to containing a flammable propellant they often contain toxic materials. Empty, depressurized aerosol cans may be placed in your household garbage. If the nozzle functions properly, spray it until empty and place in the garbage. If the can still has product in it that cannot be sprayed out, bring it to a household hazardous waste collection site.

Oil-based Paint & Thinners
Many of these types of products are flammable and need to be disposed of properly as hazardous waste. All oil-based paints, stains and thinners should be brought to a household hazardous waste collection site.

Households may use the dedicated drop-off areas at Solid Waste Authority transfer stations. These drop-off areas provide convenient locations for individuals to discard unwanted paints.

Commercial Paint Disposal
The SWA accepts paint and paint products from commercial generators through the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator program. Commercial entities should contact Hazardous Waste Services at 561-687-1100 to receive more information and registration paperwork. For more information on the CESQG program, view the Small Business page.

If you have any questions about paint disposal at the SWA, please call Hazardous Waste Services at 561-687-1100 or email us.