Paint Recycling and Disposal

Give Away or Donate Paint for Reuse

latex-paint.jpg If your paint is still usable, consider donating or re-gifting it! Check with your favorite school, non-profit organization, or theater group to see if they accept paint donations. Give away paint to your neighbors on community sharing websites such as Nextdoor Kirkland or Buy Nothing Kirkland. Even relatively small amounts of paint can be useful to crafters and DIYers.

Latex Paint Disposal

Latex paint, or water-based paint, is not considered hazardous, and is not accepted at local hazardous waste facilities. There are two options for latex paint disposal: recycling it (small fee) or drying it out and disposing in the trash. Although it is not hazardous, latex paint should NOT be poured into storm drains or down sinks. 

1. Recycle Latex Paint (Fee)

Residents and business can drop off unwanted latex paint, water-based stains and clear finishes for recycling, for a small fee, at any Take it Back Network location. Call the collection site you intend to use to determine the amount of the fee and confirm they'll accept your material. The closest options to Kirkland are the Bothell Recology Store and the Bellevue Habitat for Humanity Store. Paint must be in its original container, with a label and secure lid.

The unwanted latex paint is sent to GreenSheen EcoFriendly Paint for recycling back into fresh latex paint. Old latex paint is screened, infused with mold inhibitor and resold as an environmentally friendly latex paint product.

2. Dry Out Latex Paint and Dispose in the Trash

If you do not want to recycle your latex paint, it should be dried out and thrown away in your household trash.

To dry out latex paint, mix in kitty litter (or paint hardener):
1. Add equal parts kitty litter to the paint.
2. Stir until it reaches an oatmeal-like consistency.
3. Allow to sit for at least an hour.
4. Throw away in the trash with the lid off.

See other methods of drying out latex paint.

Proper Paint Cleanup

All storm drains lead to Lake Washington. Only rain should go down the drain, never paint, even if it's latex!

  • Never wash equipment or dump rinse water in the street, gutter, storm drains or ditches.
  • Never pour excess paint of any kind down a storm drain or yard drain.
  • Use tarps and drip pans to collect paint drips and spills.
  • Wash brushes and rollers in sinks, not outside.

Learn more about keeping paint out of our drains, creeks, and lakes at

Oil-Based Paint Disposal

Oil-based paint and stains are hazardous, and should be disposed at hazardous waste facilities to protect our environment. The closest year-round hazardous waste disposal location is in Bellevue:

Factoria Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Site
13800 SE 32nd St, Bellevue
 Tuesday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Traveling Wastemobile hosts temporary hazardous waste disposal locations throughout King County, and comes to Kirkland every year in May. Find Wastemobile dates.

statewide paint recycling program is coming in 2021! We will share more as details emerge.