Recent research shows that latex paint can safely be put in the garbage if it’s dry or solidified first. Residents should dry out latex paint and put it in the garbage.
There are three ways to dry out paint before disposal:
Dry it: If only a small amount is left in the can (an inch or less of paint), remove the paint can lid and let the paint dry out in the can. Protect from freezing and rain as well as curious children and animals. This only works when is left in the can and is most effective in the warmer months.
Mix it: Mix absorbent material (i.e. kitty litter, sawdust and shredded paper) into the latex paint and allow mixture to dry. Use a 50/50 mixture for fast drying time.
Harden it: Use a commercial paint hardener such as “Waste Away” with latex paint according to the directions.
Once the latex paint has hardened or solidified, put the can in your garbage container and leave the paint can lid off so the garbage truck driver can see that it is empty or contains only dried paint.
Oil based paint must be disposed as a hazardous material.