Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Did you know?
Latex paint is one of the largest waste streams managed through Household Hazardous Waste program (even though it isn't considered a hazardous waste). On average, over 32,000 gallons of unwanted latex paint is shipped annually to an Illinois paint reformulator. Consequently, residents are paying twice for latex paint; once at the time of purchase, then in solid waste fees for proper management. A better solution is to only purchase the amount of latex paint you need. The PaintCare paint calculator can determine the correct amount of paint needed for a project.
- Latex paint cans that contain completely dried paint or are empty can be thrown into your regular trash. Just pop the lid off so the trash hauler can verify that the can is empty or contains no liquids.
- Latex paint cans that contain liquid can either be brought into one of the mobile collection sites, Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility, or you can add kitty litter or other absorbent to the paint. Once the paint is completely absorbed, the can - with the lid off - can be placed in the trash. This is true for latex paint ONLY.
- Oil-based paint cans should be brought into either a collection site or the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility. Even if the oil-based paint has dried to a rubbery "puck" at the bottom of the can, that puck contains hydrocarbons and is a hazardous waste.
- If your oil-based paint can is completely empty, you can throw the can in with your regular trash. Just pop the lid off so the trash hauler can verify that the can is empty.
- Under no circumstances should you place a paint can that contains liquids into your trash.
- Paint from painting contractors or other businesses (i.e., property management companies) will not be accepted at mobile sites). See Commercial Hazardous Waste for more information.