Proper Disposal For Latex Paint
Livingston County, MichiganDPW/Solid WasteProper Disposal For Latex Paint

Proper Disposal For Latex Paint


If improperly disposed, paint can be highly toxic to the environment. It can harm fish and wildlife, contaminate water, and cause sewage treatment systems to be less effective.

Latex paint is non-hazardous once it's completely dried out! See below for information

When buying and using paint, remember the “Buddy” System

B Buy only what you need. Measure your walls or ask your retailer for help in estimating how much paint you will need.
U Use all the paint you buy; add an extra coat for more protection, or give leftovers to a neighbor or community group.
D Dispose of leftovers safely and responsibly. Do not put liquid paint in the garbage, down any drains, or on the ground.
D Do not allow paint to freeze. Store paint for years by placing plastic wrap over the opening and making sure the lid fits tightly. Turn the can upside-down to form a tight seal.
You will help protect the environment and save money in the process if you follow these simple steps.

What Do I Do with Latex Paint?

Latex paint is water based and is not considered hazardous once it is completely dried out.  If instructions say soap and water clean-up, it is latex paint. To dispose of latex paint:
  •  Open the containers in a well ventilated area away from pets and children
  •  To speed up the drying process, add kitty litter, sawdust, or other absorbent material. Or spread some of the paint on cardboard, scrap wood, or drywall.
  •  When the paint is completely dry, put it out with your trash (call your trash hauler for their requirements or limits)
  • There are also some businesses that will take latex paint for a fee.  See our GOT LATEX PAINT? flyer.  

What Do I Do with Oil-Based Paint?

Oil based paint products, including stains, primers, thinners, lacquers, mineral spirits and turpentine, require solvents or mineral spirits for clean-up. Also, if the warning label says “Combustible”, it is oil based.  Oil based paint products should be used sparingly and any leftovers or old products should be taken to a Livingston County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event.  Event appointments are required and space is limited.  If you have questions, email us at or call 517-545-9609.

For Businesses, Contact a Hazardous Waste Hauler to Dispose of Oil Based Paint.

Sorry, EPA and State regulations do not allow businesses (including governments, schools and religious organizations) to use the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events. Businesses must properly dispose of all hazardous materials generated. Visit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s website at  for more information.