| Mindful Living & Green Design --|
Proper paint storage and disposal
First tip is obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway: buy the proper amount of paint so you don't have a lot leftover.
When you've used it all up, empty cans of latex (water based) can be recycled as scrap metal. Oil based paint cans are hazardous waste (see below).
Store partially full cans for future touch-ups. Label can with date and room where it was used and store it in a climate controlled space -- extreme heat or freezing will spoil paint and make it unusable.
If you have more leftover than you think you will use, donate it to a charitable organization, community theater group like Gas Lamp Players in Glen Ridge, NJ, or online through a materials exchange like Freecycle.
Never pour unused paint of any kind down your drain, down a storm drain, or in the trash.
Latex (water based) paint disposal:
If there is only a little bit left, remove the lid to allow it to dry to a solid, then dispose in regular trash. If the can still has a substantial amount of liquid left, add a drying/ hardening product, which can be purchased at any hardware store. Once the latex paint has hardened, you may dispose of it in the regular trash.
Oil-based (alkyd) paints and stain disposal on October 13 in Essex County:
Do not leave oil-based paint cans open to dry. Oil-based paints, stains and aerosol spray paint cans contain toxic chemicals so they must be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste. In Essex County drop off events are held in spring & fall and the next one is Saturday October 13. For more information, click or call (973) 857-2350.