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Joe, I was cleaning out my garage and found quite a few cans of paint. How do I depose of them?

Paint disposal laws and regulations

Ask Joe Pullaro

the easiest way to Dspose of excess paint is donate it to a local organization

Paint disposal laws and regulations are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The enforcement of these laws, and therefore the ways of dealing with hazardous materials such as paint and painting supplies, are handled differently from community to community.

Before disposing of any paint, always check with the proper local authorities to determine local paint disposal laws.

Don't even think about deposing of left over paint in some out of the way place where other people have been illegally dumping. It's not worth it!

Their are sound Environmental reasons for the hazardous wastes laws and they are strongly regulated.

The DEP regulates hazardous wastes from the point of generation to disposal. A fine of up to $25,000 per day per violation may be levied against violators of transportation, treatment, storage, or disposal requirements during an enforcement action. Knowingly or repeatedly violating these rules or endangering another person can result in criminal imprisonment from 5 - 15 years and/or monetary fines from $50,000 to $1,000,000 per day per violation

For the handy home owner the easiest way to dispose of excess paint is to give it to a friend or donate it to a local organization such as a school or church.

It is a misconception that oil-based paint is the only paint that is hazardous!

Water-based paint is considered a hazardous material as it can pollute groundwater and contaminate drinking water supplies.

acrylic paint (If manufactured before 1992) may contain mercury, a toxic heavy metal. In most communities, individuals can dispose of dry acrylic paint in a plastic bag with their trash.

Always leave paint can lids off of the can to show that the paint inside is dry and ready for disposal.

Paint manufactured before 1977 may contain lead and should not be used. Any old paint, be it oil- or water-based, that may contain lead should be left closed and taken to a hazardous waste collection facility, rather than dried.

All disposal of oil-based paint should be handled at a local household hazardous waste collection event. These events are usually held several times a year across the country. If the paint is unusable due to contamination, freezing, or separation these events are available so that individuals can properly dispose of hazardous, leftover paint and other household hazardous waste such as batteries.

GOOD LUCK! Joe Pullaro