Concerned consumers often request information regarding proper methods of discarding old paint. The National Paint and Coatings Association has recently developed a six-point program which will benefit both the consumer and the environment.
- The primary message, of course, is to not generate leftover paint. "Source Reduction" at time of purchase is good practice. Buy only enough paint to complete the one intended job.
- Recycle the can when empty. (Use for household jobs, etc.)
- Small amounts of leftover paint can be used for touch-ups, or other small jobs. Store properly with tight lid and turn the can upside down forming a good seal for future use.
- Unwanted leftover paint can sometimes be donated to civic groups, churches, schools, etc.
- Dry and discard unwanted latex paint, out of the reach of children and pets. Absorbent material (catbox filler, sawdust, etc.) will expedite dry time. Consumer solvent-based paint should not be discarded as latex paint. If the product has hardened or solidified on its own, inside the closed can, then discarding can occur.
- Solvent-based paint still in a liquid state should not be discarded. Check community sources and include in special household hazardous waste collection programs.
- The paint industry continues to seek means and methods to enhance its responsibility and to maximize its contributions to improving the environment. These procedures provide continuity to these goals.
For more detailed information on consumer paint disposal, check out the PROTOCOL FOR POST CONSUMER PAINT section of the NPCA's website.