Managing latex paint disposal at home:
You may not know this, but your unused and unwanted latex paint is not hazardous waste. So why do Porter County residents insist on bringing it to household hazardous waste collections for disposal?
Perhaps they aren’t aware they can dispose of latex paint themselves; or maybe they believe that the paint they bring gets recycled and used again. But more likely than not, the latex paint that you brought to past Porter County household hazardous collection events was buried in a landfill.
For the time it takes to drive to the household hazardous waste collection, wait in sometimes long lines, and drive back home, we recommend managing unwanted paint at your convenience at home.
Porter County residents can help keep the costs of their household hazardous waste collections down and keep this program relevant and efficient by only bringing in latex paint that fits these criteria:
Acceptable latex paint:
• Gallon cans more than half full
• Obvious sloshing sound of liquid inside
• Lid properly secured
• Cans not corroded/rusty
Latex paint should not be brought to the collections if:
• Cans are smaller than one gallon
• Gallon cans are less than half full
• Cans are corroded/rusty
• Rattle noises heard when shaken
• Paint sitting longer than one year
• Paint was stored in unheated areas, like garages or sheds, over winter or paint that was obviously frozen
Latex paint can safely be thrown in the trash when:
1. The paint is dried.
2. The lid of the paint can remains off and thrown away separately.
In order to dry out your unwanted latex paint, leave the lid off of the cans if they are less than half full. If the cans are mostly full, you may need to pour some of the paint into another container to decrease drying time. In addition, stirring in non-clumping cat litter, dirt, or inexpensive paint drying products that you can purchase at home improvement stores will expedite the drying process.
Once dried, place the paint cans in your curbside trash with the lids separate.
Thanks for helping us manage the costs and relevance of your household hazardous waste collection events!
In 2016, Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction, spent $16,309 to bury latex paint from residents in a landfill and paid $4,668 to the City of Hobart to recycle latex paint.
The paint that was buried either wasn’t good (ie: rancid, hardened or separated) or the cans did not contain enough to make saving it worthwhile. In addition, per Porter County Recycling’s agreement with the city, the district pays Hobart for the difference between gallons recycled versus gallons purchased by Porter County residents. For example, if Porter County residents recycle 10 gallons of latex paint and purchase only three of those gallons from Hobart at $3 each, then the district pays the City of Hobart $21 (seven gallons at $3 each) for recycling latex paint from residents. If Porter County residents aren’t purchasing the recycled paint product, the program isn't cost-effective. How to purchase recycled latex paint?
The more than $20,000 used to bury or reuse last year’s latex paint from residents is a substantial amount that could have been used for other waste reduction services to benefit Porter County residents. The household hazardous waste collection events were created to collect and properly manage the disposal of unwanted products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients, such as gasoline, pesticides, antifreeze, fertilizer, mercury, ammunition, sharps (needles), etc.
If you have a lot of great latex paint to be recycled, you never have to wait for one of our collection events to get that paint off your hands. Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction has an agreement with the City of Hobart that allows Porter County residents to take their good but unwanted latex paint to the City for recycling. Here's the 411.
If you're in the market to buy latex paint, consider buying it from the City of Hobart: $3/gallon, or FREE to government & non-profits. Anyone can buy it. The color is putty, a nice neutral for any paint project, inside or outside. You can get this paint tinted a color at any of the following stores:
- Hopkins Ace Hardware, 325 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, 926-3737
- Phillips Ace, 3100 Calumet Ave., Valparaiso, 464-8687
- Sherwin Williams, 5783 US Route 6, Portage, 762-6362
Top Reasons to buy recycled latex paint from Hobart’s Paint Recycling Program
- It’s inexpensive: $3/gallon for Porter County residents and FREE to Porter County not-for-profit organizations and government agencies.
- Easily tinted your favorite color at a paint store.
- It makes a great primer.
- You are reusing something that could have ended up in a landfill, so you are saving natural resources.
- It demonstrates that you are being environmentally-conscious.