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Ask SSC: Oil-based or Water-based (Latex) Paint


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Disposal and recycling options for paints and stains depends on whether they are oil-based or water-based (latex) and whether they were used for home or business purposes. 

Oil-based Paints and Stains

All oil-based paints from residential (home) or commercial (business) sources must be taken to Disposal of Toxics (DoT) for proper handling. Visit Disposal of Toxics for info or call (360) 380-4640.

LATEX (water-based) Paints and Stains

Latex (water-based) paints and stains from residential (home) sources should be solidified and then disposed in your garbage. Let sit to solidify or stir in cat litter or wood chips to dry out and solidify. When hard, discard in garbage (leave lid OFF so driver can see). For larger quantities of latex paint or paint that is not solidified, try to use up or contact Disposal of Toxics or (360) 380-4640 for options.

Latex paints and stains (half a can or more in good condition) can be donated for reuse to The ReStore, 2309 Meridian Street, Bellingham. (360) 647-5921.

Empty Metal or Plastic Paint Cans and Lids (up to 1 gal.)

Remove lid. Recycle any paper label with scrap paper. Set can and lid out to dry.

Residential and Multi-Family Customers

Recycle with bottles, cans and plastic containers in recycling bin or Toter®.

Commercial Customers

Business generated hazardous waste is not accepted. Businesses should contact Disposal of Toxics for disposal or recycling options or call (360) 380-4640.


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