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Recycling: You can recycle empty plastic or metal paint cans with your metal, glass, plastic, and carton recycling.

Garbage: To discard paint with garbage, remove the lid and let the paint dry, or use kitty litter, newspaper, or other absorbent material to soak up paint.

SAFE Disposal Events & Drop-Off Sites

Latex paint is accepted at Household Special Waste Drop-Off Sites. Latex and oil-based paint are both accepted at SAFE Disposal Events.

Donations & Reuse

Visit donateNYC to find a place to donate extra paint or to post on the materials exchange.

Purchasing & Usage Tips

To store leftover paint for future projects, cover the opening with plastic wrap, making sure the lid fits securely over the plastic. Then store the paint can upside down; this creates a tight seal and keeps the paint fresh for years.

Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint. Latex paint cleans up with soap and water and does not contain hazardous chemicals. Consider using latex paint that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as an environmentally preferable option if you’re concerned about indoor air quality and odor.

Use less-toxic paint thinners or strippers. Avoid thinners or strippers that contain methylene chloride, a potential cancer-causing agent. Consider thinners or strippers that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Remove lead paint responsibly. Never dry-scrape or dry-sand to remove paint, especially if your home was built before 1960.

Select the right amount of paint and paint products for each job. It takes approximately one gallon of paint to cover 350 square feet of smooth surface. Talk to your local paint retailer or use a paint calculator to determine how much paint you need: