Disposing of Paint and Paint Cans

How to safely dispose of paint and discard or recycle empty paint cans.

What can I do with my old paint?

Unwanted paint and paint chips are accepted from District residents at the District HazWaste Center, which is open year-round.  Used oil-based (alkyd) paint should never be thrown in the trash, even if it appears to have dried out. There is no charge for residential paint or paint-related products, with the exception of latex paint and joint compound.

Latex paint and joint compound are not hazardous, and may also be allowed to dry out and then thrown out with your regular trash disposal.  Remove the lid and allow the paint to dry OR add kitty litter to speed up the process. Click here for more information on what to do with leftover latex paint.

Liquid latex paint in good condition that is brought to the the HazWaste Center will be recycled into new paint. For more information on purchasing locally-recycled paint, click here.

Furniture or wood covered with lead paint can be disposed of as regular household trash or construction and demolition waste.

Can metal or plastic paint cans be recycled?

At this time, metal paint cans are not recyclable as scrap metal at the District Transfer Station. They must be disposed of in the trash.  Plastic paint cans should also be kept out of your household recycling, even though they will often have a recycling symbol on the bottom.  Paint cans are not accepted for recycling because of the potential for residual paint left in the can. When mixed with rain water, leakage can occur and compromise all the other recyclable materials.

It’s working! Just in 2016 alone, look at how much progress VT has made recycling paint: