Latex Paint Recycling
Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and is not accepted at County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection events. ReStore of the Lehigh Valley accepts donations of latex paint from a variety of sources, including individuals & businesses throughout Northampton & Lehigh Counties. The paint will be remixed and resold to individuals and groups at discounted prices, thus providing additional funding to Habitat Lehigh Valley's building programs. Please contact ReStore at 610-776-7499 for information regarding their program.
Latex paint is usable if it is less than 10 years old and has not been repeatedly frozen and thawed. If paint will mix when you stir it, it is probably useable. If there are no lumps when you brush it newspaper, the paint is still useable.
****Latex paint cannot be recycled if it contains mold or debris.****
ReStore Latex Paint Requirements
How to distinguish latex paint from solvent-based (oil) paint:
There are several possible ways to distinguish latex paint from solvent-based paint. If possible, read the label. Solvent-based paint labels usually contain the words "alkyl" or "oil-based". Clean-up instructions on the label can also indicate whether a paint product is solvent-based or water-based. Typically solvent-based paints require mineral spirits or turpentine for cleaning. If cleaning can be done with soap and water, the paint is water-based. If the label is missing or unreadable, determine the paint's solubility in water. A small amount of paint in a jar mixed with water will show whether it is latex or solvent-based. Latex paint readily mixes with water. Solvent-based paint is insoluble in water - the paint and water will separate like vinegar and oil.
To dispose of open containers of latex paint:
For smaller quantities: Take an absorbent material such as kitty litter, sand, saw-dust, newspaper and add to the paint. Stir paint. The paint will absorb to these materials and speed along the drying process. The drying time depends on the amount of paint you have, and the amount of absorbent material you add.
For Large Quantities: Dump paint into an old bucket or trash bag lined cardboard box. Add absorbent material and stir. You may want to add absorbent material first to ease the mixing process. For all methods, to ensure latex paint is dry, plunge a screwdriver or other tool into the paint. If it does not penetrate, paint is dry. Once water based paint (latex) is dry it is safe to throw in the trash.When solidifying paint, the same safety precautions should be taken as for painting walls and other surfaces. (i.e. wear gloves, don't smoke, keep area ventilated)