Oregon law prohibits improper disposal of paint wastes. Violators are subject to civil and criminal penalties. Learn the right way to manage and clean up paint wastes.
Keep your paint job as low-cost and low-impact as possible:
- Purchase only the amount of paint needed.
- Use latex paint (it’s recyclable) when possible.
- Find alternatives to toxic solvents: Ask Metro at 503-234-3000.
During the job
- Use tarps and drip pans to collect spills and avoid ground contamination from paint chips and dust.
- Keep unused containers tightly sealed to avoid spills.
- Use high-efficiency spray guns to minimize overspray.
During clean up
- Use a three-stage wash-up system to extend the life of solvents and brushes.
- Allow paint solids to settle out of solvents. Then pour off the clean portion of the solvent for later use. Save paint solids for hazardous waste disposal.
- For latex paint jobs, clean brushes in water that flows into the public sewer system. Screen solids from entering the drain; dispose of as garbage when dry.
Paints and solvents
- Don't pour into sinks, storm drains, ditches, gutters, catch basins, dry wells, creeks or on the ground.
- Don't put liquids or clean-up waste in the garbage.
- Remove lids and allow containers to dry out.
- Recycle at the curb any clean, empty metal paint cans and lids and plastic paint buckets. Plastic paint bucket lids cannot be recycled; throw them in the garbage.
- Search Metro's online tool to find the nearest place to take leftover latex or oil paint.
- Take paint strippers and other hazardous project waste to a permitted hazardous waste management facility.
- If you don’t want to take paint to a recycling or hazardous waste facility, wipe tops clean and tightly seal cans or buckets. Label the cans. Donate unneeded leftovers to theaters, schools, clubs or churches, or combine light-colored paints and use as primer on future jobs.