Latex paint is not a hazardous material; it is a ceramic. Oil based paint is indeed hazardous waste.
If you need to get rid old latex paint, follow these simple steps:
1. Remove the lid and place can in a safe, well-ventilated area.
2. Allow a few days to let the latex dry to ceramic form.
3. Put lids and cans of dried latex into a plastic trash bag along with your regular household trash.
For a faster drying—as fast as 30 minutes–you can use waste paint hardener is available at paint stores and most area hardware stores. Mulch, kitty litter, or shredded paper may also be used as a drying agent.
Some counties limit the number of cans you may dispose for each pick-up. Most counties request that you put the trash bags in rigid trashcans. Contact your county or trash hauler for more details.
Usually, the paint can you put into your trash gets recycled. The can is incinerated where the dried paint burns off of the metal can. The facility recovers the remaining steel from the ash and collects the steel for recycling.
Also, county residents can take paint to their county disposal sites:
Alexandria: 3224 Colvin Street, Alexandria, VA
Arlington: 3155 South Fern Street Arlington, VA 22202
Fairfax: 4618 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
If you have oil-based paints or lots of latex paint, call us at Junk King and we’ll put you in touch with our partner Yuk Old Paint, who will help you properly dispose of the paint.