Q: How do I properly dispose of paint?

Storage\Disposal of Liquid Paint

Please Note:  There is a difference between latex paint and oil-based paint. 

When storing paint, make sure lids are on tight. Label the top of each can with the color name and date purchased.

Do not pour paint down household drains or storm sewers. Many of the chemicals in paint will not be treated by sewage treatment systems or septic systems. Storm sewers empty directly into Spring Creek.

Do not throw liquid paint in the trash. There is always the possibility that the paint will be released from the can. Then the paint could be exposed to certain chemicals and cause spontaneous combustion.

Solidify first, then dispose. Paint is hazardous in its liquid form. If only a small amount of paint is left, simply remove the lid (outside, with good ventilation) and let dry. Then the can may be put out for trash disposal. If you have a large volume or quantity, there are other ways to dispose of paint.

Oil Based Paint
Oil based paint, when dry, may be disposed of in your regular trash.

The Recycling & Refuse Authority's Transfer Station will accept oil-based paint in liquid form only during its Household Hazardous Waste Collection each spring. 

In addition, ReStore in Bellefonte takes unopened cans of oil-based paint for reuse. Please call for details: (814) 353-2390.


Latex Paint
Latex paint, when dry, may be disposed of in your regular trash. If you are simply overwhelmed with latex paint, the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority's Transfer Station is allowed to accept up to 5 gallons of latex paint per person per day. There is a $15.00 minimum charge for this service.

Please note that the Authority will not accept latex paint at Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority's Household Hazardous Waste event each Spring.

Tips to Dry Paint
Get a sturdy cardboard box and fill with clay-based kitty litter, pour the paint onto the kitty litter and let dry. Then dispose of this dried mixture with your trash. Some local hardware and paint stores carry a paint solidifier. Simply purchase, follow directions and when paint is dried, put out for trash collection.


Consider Donating Your Paint

Paint is the most common household product that becomes household hazardous waste. Paint contains harmful substances that can be dangerous to our health and the environment if not used, stored, and disposed of properly.

The best way to dispose of paint is to use the paint. If you cannot use the paint, try giving it to someone who can, such as:

  •  Theatre groups
  •  Church groups
  •  Shelters for people in need
  •  Habitat for Humanity ReStore (at least 75% full); call (814) 353-2390 first.

For more information, please see this Fact Sheet.