How to Safely Dispose of Latex Paint During a Pandemic

Pennsylvania Resource Council provides instructions on the best way to get rid of leftover latex paint.


Home renovation mentions on social media have doubled from their usual amount in the last few weeks, according to LikeFolio, a program that analyzes social media data to predict consumer behavior. 

If you have any leftover paint from projects in your own home, there’s a safe way to dispose of them — even in a pandemic.

“You should never throw liquid paint products into your trash,” said Sarah Alessio Shea, collection events manager of the Pennsylvania Resources Council, in a press release. “And if the paint is usable, by all means offer it to a friend, neighbor or relative.”

Shea outlined how to dispose of latex paint, which is not considered hazardous waste in solidified form:

  • Divide the paint into small amounts, ⅓ full can or less
  • Add kitty litter, sand or shredded newspaper into liquid latex paint and mix well
  • Leave the lid off, set aside and allow the paint to completely dry
  • Dispose of the dried paint in the trash

Using this method, the paint can be disposed of without the need for other chemicals or products. Shea said it works best with small quantities of paint, one can or less.

“Options for correctly disposing of larger amounts of latex paint include using packets of waste paint hardener, which is available at home improvement stores, or dropping off the paint at a household chemical collection event,” she said.

Shea said it’s important to dispose of both latex and oil-based paints properly to avoid groundwater pollution. It’s also important to remember that oil-based paints and varnishes are hazardous in any form and should be taken to a collection event. Due to restrictions as a result of COVID-19, chemical collection events are not scheduled to be held until late June but are subject to change, according to the Pennsylvania Resource Council website. 

Categories: The 412