Welcome to “Ask Recology,” a monthly feature from sponsor Recology King County.

You have questions, Recology has answers!

Recology King County

Hi Recology!

I just re-painted a few rooms in my house and have some leftover paint I’d like to get rid of. 

In fact, I’ve been storing a pile of half-full paint cans in my basement for a while! Can you tell me how I can get rid of these? 


Hi, Danny!

Thanks for your question! Here are a few options for you to get rid of your paint:

To get it recycled, you can take your leftover paint to a Paint Care drop-off location. These can be found at the PaintCare Drop-Off Site Locator by using your city or zip code and selecting a retailer near you. It is best to call ahead to make sure your site is still actively taking paint.

For reuse, you can check with your local community organizations to see if your paint can be used for any projects.

If you are unable to do either of the above, please dispose of your paint correctly. Dry latex, water-based, or acrylic paint can go in the trash if these directions are followed:

  1. For paint cans with a small amount of paint left – less than an inch – you can let it dry inside of the paint can. You can do so by removing the lid and letting the paint air dry. While it is drying, make sure it is stored away safely from animals and children.
  2. For more than an inch of paint left, you can mix the paint with cat litter. Once it is solidified, it can be placed in the trash.
  3. Ensure the lid is removed before disposing the paint can. The dry contents of the paint can and the can itself will need to be disposed of in the trash.
  4. Please note that paint cans cannot be recycled. 

For more ideas on how to reduce waste, visit one of our Recology stores! The Burien Recology store is located at 15858 First Avenue S, #A100 Burien, WA (map below).

You can also find more Waste Zero tips on our Recology King County social media pages listed below:

Thank you,

The Recology Store is located at 15858 1st Ave S, Burien, WA 98148:https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2551.9217979459318!2d-122.3337934846119!3d47.46061230604495!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x549044a1d6c599af%3A0x1dc8032e633ad28e!2sThe%20Recology%20Store!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1678904103571!5m2!1sen!2sus