Dispose of Paint Properly


What's the Problem?

All storm drains in Kirkland flow to the nearest creek, lake, or wetland. If paint is dumped in a storm drain, driveway, street, or gutter it can pollute our streams and be toxic to our fish. It is illegal to allow paint, stains, or rinse water from paint equipment to enter a storm drain, surface water, and/or groundwater (KMC 15.52). 

Only rain down the storm drain. Rinse brushes and rollers in sinks, never outside!

What Can We Do?

Buy Only What You Need

Use an online paint calculator to estimate the amount needed. Paint store staff can also help you buy the right quantity.


Prep Right

  • Are you pressure washing a structure to remove paint?
    • Place filter fabric on storm drain to catch debris.
    • Only discharge filtered water to storm drain.
  • Spread a tarp to capture paint chips, dust, and debris when removing old paint.
    • Paint chips and dust from non-hazardous dry stripping and sand blasting may be swept up and disposed of as trash. 
    • Chips and dust from paint containing lead is hazardous waste (most paint prior to 1978 contains lead). Follow safe work practices when working with lead paint. Sweep up waste and dispose of as hazardous waste.


Keep Your Work Area Clean

  • Use tarps and drip pans to collect paint and solvent drips and spills.
  • Keep liquid products away from the street and storm drains.
  • Use high-efficiency spray guns to minimize over-spray.
  • Keep a spill kit on site.


Clean Up

  • Paint out brushes and rollers as much as possible.
  • Drain excess paint from spray equipment prior to cleaning.
  • Never wash equipment or dump rinse water in street, gutter, storm drains, or ditches.
  • Never pour excess paint of any kind down a storm drain or any other drain.
  • Latex Paint
    • Wash latex paint equipment in sink.
    • Dispose of rinse water in a toilet, utility sink, or sanitary sewer clean-out. 
  • Oil-based Paints
    • Clean equipment with thinner or solvent in a proper container. Allow paint particles to settle and form “sludge”. Dispose of sludge at a Hazardous Waste Facility. Re-use remaining solvent/thinner.
    • Keep oil-based paints or solvents out of drains, both inside and outside your home or business. 


Dispose of Paint Properly

There are recycling options for latex paint, while oil-based paint needs to be disposed at a hazardous waste facility (no cost for residents and most businesses). Learn more about how you can donate leftover paint or recycle or dispose of it properly.