How to Dispose of Latex Paint

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The Household Hazardous Waste Facility at the Solid Waste Facility no longer accepts latex paint.

Any oil-based paints and stains should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

Do not pour latex paint down a drainPaints labeled as "latex paint" are not hazardous and can be thrown away with your regular household garbage IF it is completely dry - to the bottom of the can.

If not completely dry, it can leak from a garbage truck and ruin vehicles and/or private property.

Be sure your paint is COMPLETELY dry before including in your regular garbage.


How to dry latex paint for disposal in household garbage?

• Removing the lid from the can and placing in a dry place will allow the paint to eventually dry out.

• After a few days, only the surface of the paint will be firm and dry to the touch - if you press harder you will notice the bottom is still liquid or gloppy paint. It may take a very long time to air-dry your paint, depending on the quantity in the can.

• If you feel comfortable holding the can of paint upside down, then it is dry enough to throw away in your garbage.

Dry out latex paintTo expedite the latex paint drying process:

• A thin layer of paint will dry much faster. Pour paint into a secure container with a larger surface area than the paint can.

• Place container of paint outside on a sunny day to help speed up the drying process.

• Adding on absorbent such as kitty litter, wood chips, saw dust, mulch, etc. is another way to quickly dry the paint.

Getting rid of paint cans:

• When the paint is dry, double bag the container and any absorbing material and throw it out with the regular garbage.

• Only latex paint will dry. Oil based paint and stain have to be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Management Facility located at 1033 Elm Street.

• If you take dried paint cans to a Knox County Convenience Center make sure you bring the paint cans without the lids, allow the operator to inspect them, then you can place them in the bulky brown compactor.

 • If you have curbside garbage pick-up in the City of Knoxville, put the dried paint cans inside household garbage bags in the City issued garbage cart.

Click here to view this information in a printable PDF file.