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Paint Disposal

You can recycle latex paint for a small charge at our Oct. 10, 2020 recycling event!

latex paint
Make your next painting project greener with our tips for preventing paint waste and cleaning up safely.

statewide paint recycling programlinks to external site is coming in spring 2021! We will share more as details emerge.

Give Away or Donate Paint for Reuse
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 locationlinks to external site. 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 Storelinks to external site and the Bellevue Habitat for Humanity Storelinks to external site. Paint must be in its original container, with a label and secure lid.

The unwanted latex paint is sent to GreenSheen EcoFriendly Paintlinks to external site 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 outlinks to external site 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 paintlinks to external site.

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 facilitieslinks to external site to protect our environment. The closest year-round hazardous waste disposal location is in Bellevue:

Factoria Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Sitelinks to external 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 dateslinks to external site.

Public Works
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3800 | F. 425-587-3807
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Operations & Maintenance
915 8th St, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3900 24/7 | F. 425-587-3902
Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

General Inquiries - Contact us via the: 
Our Kirkland Customer Service Portal