Dried Paint
Paint cans with dried paint should be placed in your regular trash. Small quantities of paint and all latex paints can be air-dried and disposed in the trash.

Latex Paint
The Ashtabula County Solid Waste District does not accept latex paint at its Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up events because it is not a hazardous material.

How to Determine If Stored Paint Is Usable
If the paint will mix when stirred, it is probably usable. Oil-based paint can be usable for up to 15 years. Latex paint is usable if it is less than 10 years old and has not been repeatedly frozen and thawed. The best way to determine if latex paint is usable after it has been frozen is to brush the paint on newspaper. If there are lumps, the paint is not usable. Avoid having leftover paint by buying only the amount you need to do the job. Consult with the retailer to determine the surface area and the amount of paint needed to cover this area.

Ideas for Usable Leftover Paint
Use up any leftover paint. Some suggested ways to do this include applying another coat to the surface until the paint is gone, painting a doghouse or other small structure, or using it as a primer coat for another project. If you cannot use it up, see if a friend or neighbor is willing to use it. Other groups to contact to see if they need usable latex paint include theater groups, community betterment groups, schools, daycare centers and graffiti removal projects. Before sharing usable latex paint, determine if it contains mercury. If it does, inform your recipient and suggest they use it only for exterior surfaces.

How to solidify Latex paint

Materials Needed
  • Protective gloves
  • Bucket or sturdy cardboard box
  • Stirring stick
  • Non-flammable absorbent - such as clay-based kitty litter
    • Warning: Do not use a paper-based product as an absorbent because it could spontaneously ignite.
Safety Precautions
  • Solidify paint in well-ventilated areas that are inaccessible to children and pets. Do not solidify the paint in a basement or inside the house. If you should feel dizzy or nauseous while working with the paint, take a fresh air break.
  • Do not solidify paint in a garage or shed where there is an appliance that uses a pilot light, welding activities, light switch, light bulb, electric garage door or any other source of spark or flame. Volatile, reactive or flammable chemicals can concentrate in an inadequately ventilated room. If the room has a source of spark or flame, the airborne chemicals could explode or cause a fire.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while solidifying paint.
  • Avoid inhalation of fumes. If you can smell it, you are breathing the product.
  • Wear protective gloves to avoid skin contact while handling the paint.
Small Quantities of Paint
To solidify small quantities, such as an inch or 2 in the bottom of a can, simply remove the lid, add non-flammable absorbent and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. When the paint is solidified, place the absorbent and paint cans inside a garbage bag, seal the bag tightly and dispose of it in the trash destined for the landfill.

Large Quantities of Paint
For larger quantities of paint, mix absorbent and paint in a bucket or sturdy cardboard box and stir. It will be easier if you pour some absorbent in the bottom of the container and add the paint slowly while stirring. Continue to alternate the absorbent and paint and stirring. The end product should be similar in texture to the absorbent. When the paint is solidified, place the absorbent and container inside a garbage bag, seal it tightly, and dispose of it in the trash destined for the landfill.

Disposing of Empty Paint Cans
Leave the lid off the paint cans so that the hauler can see that they are empty. Place the empty paint cans and lids along side or on top of your trash.