Don't put unwanted leftover paint that is still liquid in the garbage.
Take paint, stain and varnish to a county household hazardous waste drop-off site or a PaintCare retail drop-off location. Hours and amounts accepted vary. Call before you go.
Dried paint, empty cans
If the paint can is dry, it's OK to put empty paint cans (plastic or metal) in the garbage. Leave the lid off to show that the can is empty and dry. Ask if your recycling service provider accepts empty metal paint cans.
You can dry out small amounts of latex paint (less than 1 inch left in the can) in a well-ventilated area. Simply remove the lid to let the paint dry out. Stir occasionally to speed up the process or add kitty litter to help absorb moisture. Place the lids and the cans with completely dried paint in your garbage. Keep the lids off the cans.
If paint rollers and brushes cannot be reused, dry them out and place them in the garbage.
Oil-based products typically require the use of thinner or other solvents for cleaning. Solvents can be flammable and/or toxic, and should never be thrown away, poured down the drain or dumped on the ground. For more information on proper disposal, see paint thinner and solvents.