Latex Paint and Stains Disposal
Recent research shows that latex paint and stains can safely be put in the garbage for disposal at a landfill, as long as the paint is dry or solidified first. Based on this research, King County’s Local Hazardous Waste Management Program collection facilities (Factoria and the Wastemobile) stopped accepting latex paint and stains on Jan. 1, 2008.
Dumped illegally, liquid latex paint can be a hazard by plugging or damaging septic fields, overloading sewage treatment plants and creating environmental hazards on the ground.
Residents should dry out latex paint and stains and put it in the garbage with the lid off, using one of several methods:
Be sure it's latex paint or stain! Look on the label for the word "latex," or for directions to clean up or thin with water. Oil-based paints should be brought to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal. Once the latex paint has hardened or solidified, place the can with the lid off in your garbage container. The garbage hauler needs to see that the paint has been solidified.
Preventing latex paint and stains waste
Buy only what you need and ask the sales staff for assistance to buy the right quantity. You can view an online paint calculator to help estimate the correct amount needed. Everyone has good intentions to use half-filled paint cans for "touch-ups" that never come. Also, many people have saved paint that becomes unusable over time. If you save paint for later, follow some easy tips to make the paint last longer. Just cover the opening with plastic wrap, and make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn't leak. Then turn the paint can upside down to create a tight seal, and keep the paint fresh to use again.
Large quantities of latex paint and stains
Hazardous waste companies will accept large quantities of latex paint that can’t be dried at home. Please refer to the Local Hazardous Waste Management's Waste Directory ("Yellow Book") for options. The average cost is $7 per gallon.
Updated: Aug. 7, 2013