Latex Paint Disposal Policy
Starting June 28, 2009, Snohomish County’s Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station in Everett will no longer accept latex paint. Recent research shows that latex paint can safely be put in the garbage if it’s dry or solidified first. Residents should dry out latex paint and put it in the garbage container.
How do I know if my paint is latex based or oil based?
Look on the paint can for key words. Latex paint is also called “water based,” cleans up with water and dries on your walls in about an hour. Oil paint is also called “alkyd” paint, cleans with solvent and not water, does not come in plastic containers and dries slowly (overnight). Oil paint is hazardous and should be brought to the hazardous waste collection facility.
Buy only what you need, store it for a future use, use it up or pass it on!
- Buy only what you need and ask the sales staff for assistance to buy the right quantity.
- If you save your paint for later, follow this easy tip to make the paint last longer. Cover the opening with plastic wrap, make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn't leak and then turn the paint can upside down! This creates a tight seal and keeps the paint fresh to use again.
- If you can, try to use the latex paint up by applying an extra coat to walls, fence, shed or doghouse.
- Ask neighbors and friends if they want free paint or donate to a school, theater group or other organization (always call first).
Three ways to dry out latex paint:
- Remove the paint can lid and let the paint dry out in the can. Protect from freezing and rain as well as curious children and animals. This only works when an inch or less of paint is left in the can and is most effective in the warmer months.
- Mix absorbent material (i.e., kitty litter, sawdust and shredded paper) into the latex paint and allow mixture to dry. Use a 50/50 mixture for fast drying time.
- Mix a commercial paint hardener such as “Waste Away” with latex paint according to the directions.
Once the latex paint has hardened or solidified, put the can in your garbage container. Leave the lid off so the garbage truck drivers can see that the paint can is empty or contains only dried paint.
If you have any questions about drying latex paint or about having large quantities of latex paint to dry out, contact the Solid Waste Division at 425-388-3425.