The best thing to do is only buy what you need, and use it all up. Also try and buy latex paints, not oil based ones, and look to see if there are any heavy metal additives- which are usually in brightly colored paints. If you have a little bit left at the end of a job, paint on another coat and use it up, or paint something that doesn’t matter like the bottom of a chair. If you can’t find a use for it, give it to a theater group, school, church or charity, homeless shelter, police department or Parks and Recreation graffiti team (or better yet, paint over graffiti in your neighborhood,) or a Habitat for Humanity project. If you’re set on throwing it away, make sure it’s totally dry (you can let it sit in the sun and add a little kitty litter if needed,) and contact your local recycling company to see if they take paint cans. If not call the trash company to see if it has to be dropped off at the waist center or if you can throw it in the trash (with lids off.) In California, for instance, it’s illegal to throw paint away and has to be brought to a Hazardous Waist Collection Site. If the paint is 20 years old or more, it may have lead or mercury, in which case definitely bring it to a Haz Mat site.
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