Paint can generally be broken into three waste catagories:

  • Latex (Acrylic) paints are categorized as non-hazardous and should either be recycled or dried up and thrown out with regular household trash. Mixing cat litter or absorbent material such as Spedi-Dri in with the liquid latex paint or pouring the paint in a large cardboard box will expedite the drying process. Empty paint cans may be recycled in the metal bin at local transfer stations. Click here for more information on latex paint disposal.
  • Oil-based (Alkyd) paints are household hazardous waste and should be used up or brought to HHW collections. Oil-based paints accounted for 53.33% of the total cost and 64.7% of the total volume of all hazardous waste collected in the 19 HHW collections held on Cape Cod in 2009 (see associated graphs).
  • Aerosol paints are generally categorized as household hazardous waste and should be brought to HHW collections. Special care should be taken with all aerosol products as their contents are under pressure.

How much paint do you need to get the job done? Do the math with this calculator.

Paint Recycling
Nine towns in Barnstable County maintain paint recycling centers. When considering your options for paint disposal, please reference this sheet to find paint recycling centers.

LATEX PAINT IS NOT A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL. Do not bring latex paint to a hazardous material collection.