What To Do With Empty Paint Cans


As the weather cools, many of us are putting aside our summer household projects. And, in the process, we might have some old paint cans lying around. If you’ve got a few old colors you don’t plan to use, think about recycling them.


Photo credit: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Here are some simple eco tips for what to do with your used up paint and paint cans:

1. Using a rubber scraper, transfer any remnants of paint into a small aluminum canister or glass jar and save it for emergency touch-ups or give it to the kids for art projects (appropriate aged children only, of course.)

2. Recycle any water-based, or latex, paint with your local facility. This type of paint can be recycled into new paint or used to create nonpaint products such as cement. (see below)

3. Recycle any oil-based, or alkyd, paint. It can usually be burned to create energy at a power plant. (see below)

4. Many communities have paint and paint can recycling programs. Check with your local municipality to see if this is offered by your nearby recycling or hazardous waste center and which guidelines you’ll need to follow.

5. Clean old paint cans out thoroughly and let your kids decorate the exterior and convert them into planter pots, piggie banks, crayon holders or other school project containers.


Not sure whether paint recycling is available near you? Visit the Earth911 website or call (800) 253-2687 to find out.


About: Katherine DalPra is owner/designer for Green Diva Jewelry, an eco jewelry boutique. Follow her at facebook.com/GreenDivaJewelry or twitter.com/green_diva



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