Make your next painting project greener with our tips for preventing paint waste, choosing green paints, and cleaning up safely.
Wish there were a no-cost statewide latex paint recycling program? So do we, and the paint industry! Ask your Washington State representatives to support paint stewardship legislation.
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, 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.
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 City of Kirkland is hosting a latex paint recycling event at Lake Washington Institute of Technology on April 14. Recycle latex paint for a small cash processing fee ($1.25/quart, $2.25/gallon, $12.25/5-gallon). Learn more about the event.
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.
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.
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.