Is it Latex Paint?
To determine if your paint is latex, sometimes known as enamel paint, look at the label and find the ‘Cleanup Instructions’. For latex paint, you will be instructed to clean your brushes with ‘detergent and water’ or ‘soap and water’. See the sections below on donating/reusing or disposing of Latex Paint for further instructions.
If you are instructed to use a solvent, like mineral spirits or paint thinner, to clean your brushes or if you find the words ‘alkyd’ or ‘combustible’ are on the label, your paints are not latex and will need to be disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Work’s SafeChem Program.
Donating or Reusing Latex Paint
Leftover latex paint can be saved for future projects, used by family or friends, or needed by other residents of West Michigan. Instead of tossing usable latex paint, look at the business directory below for places to donate latex paint.
Disposal of Latex Paint
Latex paint is not accepted through the SafeChem Program. Once dried, latex paint may be safely placed in your trash. Follow the instructions below to quickly dry out your latex paint.
Step 1: Find an area that will be protected from children, pets, and weather but has adequate airflow. A locked screen porch or a high shelf in a well-vented garage or shed may be suitable.
Step 2: Remove and place the latex paint lid in the trash.
Step 3: Add an absorbent material such as cat litter, sawdust or sand to the latex paint, stirring the material into the paint until it is the consistency of thick oatmeal. Leave the solid paint sludge in the can to harden completely.
If there is too much latex paint in the container to add absorbent material to a cardboard box lined with a trash bag. Pour the paint into the lined box and allow to dry. For paints that have separated or cannot be mixed, pour the clear liquids into a cardboard box lined with a trash bag and mix an equal amount of absorbent material; allow to dry.
Step 4: Once hardened, the latex paint mixture can be safely and legally placed in your trash. Be sure to remove the lid prior to putting any paint can in the trash. DO NOT place the paint can in the recycling bin as any recyclables, including metal or plastic paint cans, cannot be recycled if they are dirty (contain any residue contaminants — dried paint remnants in this case).
Accepts latex paint for a fee.