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10 Things You Should Know About Paint Recycling

Okay, so that DIY project didn't go exactly as planned, and you have a bunch of unused paint leftover. Lucky for the earth, you don't have to toss it in the trash. Visit PaintCare to learn how to recycle your paint safely and easily.

1. You've probably never even thought about how much paint is wasted every year.

Turns out it's a lot. About 10% of paint purchased in the US goes unused each year. That's as much as 80 million gallons of paint that could be recycled!

2. What's the benefit of recycling used paint?

Paint that is placed in the trash for curbside pickup goes straight to the landfill, and let's be real: no one likes a landfill. Recycling your leftover paint can help reduce hazardous waste at our already overflowing dumps. Taking your paint to a drop-off site location is an easy way to waste less.

3. What happens to paint that goes unrecycled?

Latex and oil-based house paints are considered household hazardous waste by the state of California. Most of what’s leftover can be recycled or reused in some way, but even the portion that can’t should be brought to a PaintCare drop-off site to ensure that it will be disposed of safely and responsibly.

4. Where can you take used paint to be recycled?

Luckily, recycling your leftover paint is as easy as dropping it off at a designated PaintCare drop-off location or one day PaintCare drop-off event where it can be given new life.

5. But is there a recycling location near me?

Yes — 98% of California residents live within 15 miles of a PaintCare drop-off site location, most of which are conveniently located at paint and hardware stores.

6. Wondering what happens to your paint after it's been dropped off?

Latex paint that is in good condition can be reprocessed into new paint. If the paint isn't recyclable, it can be used to make other products like fuel or used for alternative daily cover at landfills. So no matter what happens to your old paint, it's being put to use instead of wasting away in a landfill. Pretty cool, right?

7. How much does it cost?

Recycling your paint is free when you take it to a PaintCare drop-off site, so there's no need to bust out your wallet again. PaintCare is funded by a small fee which is added to the purchase price of new paint sold in California. Just drop your paint off, and you can be on your way in a jiff.

8. And guess what? PaintCare facilities accept more than just paint.

In addition to interior and exterior architectural paints, you can also drop off deck coatings, floor paints, primers, sealers, undercoaters, stains, shellacs, lacquers, and varnishes, as well as other common household materials. Click here for a full list of accepted items.

9. Where should you store your used paint in preparation for recycling?

A great place to store your unused paint is in a rarely used closet or a dry cabinet. Keep paint well-sealed to ensure that it doesn’t dry out or spoil. As long as your paint is stored in a temperate, dry place, it should be kept in good shape for recycling.

10. Got more leftover paint than you can haul away yourself?

If you've got more than 200 gallons of paint, you can schedule a free PaintCare Large Volume pickup. That's right! It's super quick, super easy, and, most importantly, super free.

Don't let your used paint go to waste. Head to a PaintCare drop-off and give your paint a brand-new life.

All information provided by PaintCare.