This tool finds household hazardous waste programs and other places throughout the United States that accept leftover paint from the public.
Before bringing your paint to any drop-off site, be sure to call to check business hours and to make sure they can accept the types and amount of paint you would like to recycle.
In PaintCare States (those with Paint Stewardship Programs) the PaintCare Site Locator lists all of the retailers who have signed up with PaintCare to accept leftover paint from the public. It also lists most of the household hazardous waste programs if they have partnered with PaintCare. Use this tool to find the nearest, most convenient site to you. All PaintCare drop-off sites accept at least 5 gallons of paint per visit. Some participating retailers will accept more than 5 gallons. It’s recommended to call any drop-off location before bringing in paint to make sure they can accept the amount of paint you would like to drop-off.
PaintCare developed this tool to help the general public in other states too. Our tool is a comprehensive listing of locations throughout the United States that accept leftover paint from the public. If you work for a government-sponsored household hazardous waste program or any other organization that accepts paint from households and/or businesses, we’ve probably contacted you already and added you to our database. If not, please contact us and we will be happy to add your information.
Submit an Update
Please email Carol Darrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) PAINT-09 to update any information about your organization or facility.
PaintCare sites accept house paint and primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish) but we do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” or “architectural paint” and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. Paint must be in its original container and the container must have a label and a secured lid. We cannot accept open or leaking cans. Please review the following detailed list to find out what can be accepted, prior to dropping off your paint.
Recycle with PaintCare
When you’ve run out of ways to use up your leftover paint, recycle it with PaintCare.
How to recycle your paint
PaintCare makes recycling your leftover paint almost as easy as buying new paint. In PaintCare states we’ve set up convenient locations where you can take unwanted paint for reuse or recycling. All PaintCare sites take back all brands (not just the brands they sell) of acceptable house paint, stains and varnish during their regular business hours. PaintCare sites that are paint stores accept paint from anyone in their state. Solid waste transfer stations and household hazardous waste programs only accept paint from those who qualify to use their facilities – usually households of their town, city or county. To use any PaintCare site, prepare your unwanted paint, stains, and other acceptable program products by making sure the lids are secured tightly, no containers are leaking, and they have original labels and in their original containers. Please do not mix paints together. Please do not bring empty paint cans; they can be disposed of in your regular trash or possibly in your recycling bins, depending on the services offered in your area. Recycling programs around the country are different, so be sure to ask your recycling service if they allow empty, dry paint cans in your recycling bins before you put them in your recycling bins. If they are not allowed, put them in your trash. Pack your paint cans in a sturdy cardboard box in your vehicle and take them to a PaintCare drop-off site during their advertised regular hours. PaintCare sites have limits on how much paint they can accept, but they all take at least 5 gallons of paint per visit; some sites take more. It’s always best to call the site before bringing your paint to ask if they have enough space to accept the amount of paint you would like to recycle.
What happens to the paint?
The paint you drop off is packed into larger containers (boxes or drums) by the staff at the drop-off sites. One of PaintCare’s hauling companies picks up the paint and takes it to their facility for sorting by type. PaintCare manages the paint according to a policy of “highest, best use.” Our goal is to recycle as much as possible. If the paint is not recyclable into new paint, we find the next best use for it. Latex paint and other water-based products are separated from oil-based paint and other solvent-based products. Most of the oil-based paint is then taken to a cement plant where it is blended into a fuel and burned to recover the energy value. Most of the better latex paint (paint that is not rusty, molding or spoiled) is sent to recycling companies and reprocessed into new paint in standard pre-tinted colors. Some latex paint is used to make other products or used for alternative daily cover at landfills. Overall about 1-2% of the paint we receive is simply reused. Some paint is nearly new and in excellent condition and is given away “as is” at some household hazardous waste programs that partner with PaintCare and have reuse programs or “swap shops.” Non-profit ReStores (such as those operated by Habitat for Humanity) that serve as PaintCare drop-off sites also screen out some of the usable paint and sell it in their store. Very little paint is sent to a landfill as waste. In some PaintCare states, none of the paint is sent to landfill as waste. In others, a small portion, about 5-6%, is sent to a landfill.
What should you do with empty paint cans?
PaintCare drop-off sites do not accept empty paint cans. Depending on where you live, you may be able to recycle empty paint cans in your curbside recycling program. If not, they should be disposed of in the trash. It’s important to check with your local recycling or trash services to see what is allowed. In most places, putting any liquids in the trash or recycling bins is prohibited. So, any cans you recycle or dispose of must be truly empty, and the lid should be removed so that trash collectors can see that they are empty.