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How to Properly Dispose of Paint in Eau Claire


Proper paint disposal is crucial to protect the environment and ensure compliance with local regulations. At Al’s Painting, a trusted painting company in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we prioritize responsible paint disposal methods. In this guide, we will walk you through the answers to one of the most common questions we get: what are the steps to properly dispose of paint in Eau Claire County. Whether you have latex or oil-based paint, it’s important to follow the correct procedures to ensure safe and eco-friendly disposal.

When to Get Rid of Old Paint

Knowing when to dispose of old paint is essential for maintaining a clutter-free and organized space. As a general guideline, consider getting rid of paint when it is no longer usable or needed. This could include paint that has been stored for an extended period, has deteriorated in quality, or is in a significantly reduced quantity that cannot be effectively used for touch-ups or future projects. Paint does have a shelf life, even the pricey ones, and if you are sitting on several cans that are completely rusted they are likely past that shelf life.

How to Dispose of Latex Paint

For latex-based paint disposal, it is necessary to follow specific guidelines to ensure proper disposal. First, check if the paint is completely dry. Leave the paint can open in a well-ventilated area until the paint has dried completely. Once the paint is dry and solidified, it can be safely disposed of in regular trash. However, it is important to note that Eau Claire County does not accept full buckets of wet paint for disposal.

How to Dispose of Oil-Based Paint

Disposing of oil-based paint and related products requires special care due to their potentially hazardous nature. In Eau Claire County, oil-based paints, sealers, strippers, paint removers, turpentine, and similar items should only be disposed of during designated collection days. The upcoming collection days are scheduled for July 22nd and September 16th at WRR Environmental Services, located at 5200 Ryder Road, Eau Claire. The collection hours are from 8 am to 12 pm. Until those dates, it is crucial to store these items properly in your house or garage, following safety precautions.

Whatever you do, DO NOT POUR ANY OF THESE LIQUIDS DOWN THE DRAIN. Not only could that really ruin your plumbing but is truly terrible for the environment as well.

Additional Tips

In addition to the specific guidelines for latex and oil-based paint disposal, here are some additional tips to ensure proper paint disposal and storage:

  • Reduce waste: Minimize the amount of paint leftover by estimating the required quantity for a project accurately. This reduces the need for disposal and helps prevent unnecessary waste.
  • Donate usable paint: If you have leftover paint in good condition that you no longer need, consider donating it to local organizations, schools, or community centers that may have a use for it. This helps reduce waste and benefits others in need. We recommend looking at boy scout troops.
  • Recycle paint cans: Empty paint cans can be recycled. Remove any dried paint residue before recycling, and check with your local recycling center to ensure they accept empty paint cans.
  • Follow hazardous waste guidelines: For other hazardous paint-related materials, such as paint thinners, solvents, or aerosol cans, it is important to follow the specific hazardous waste guidelines outlined by your local municipality or recycling center.
  • Store paint properly: Proper paint storage extends its shelf life and ensures its usability for future projects. Keep paint cans upright to prevent leakage and maintain the paint’s integrity. Store them away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Keep records of paint colors and brands: Maintaining a record of paint colors and brands used in your home makes touch-ups and future projects easier. It helps ensure consistency and simplifies the process of selecting matching paint colors.


Proper paint disposal and storage are essential for maintaining a clean and safe environment. Following the guidelines provided for disposing of latex and oil-based paint in Eau Claire County ensures compliance with local regulations. Remember to allow latex paint to dry completely before disposing of it in regular trash and to bring oil-based paint and related products to designated collection days. When deciding on a painting project, weighing the considerations between DIY and professional painting can guide you in choosing a path that aligns with your values and capabilities. By practicing responsible paint disposal and storage, you contribute to a more sustainable future and maintain an organized space. For more information on paint disposal and recycling in Eau Claire County, please refer to the provided references: Link 1 and Link 2.

Understanding the advantages of professional painters in waste management, including proper disposal of leftover paint, can highlight the benefits of hiring experts for your painting needs.

At Al’s Painting, we are dedicated to promoting responsible painting practices and providing professional painting services to our valued customers in Eau Claire. Contact us for all your painting needs and let us help you create beautiful and sustainable spaces. If you want to know more about exterior painting services, CLICK HERE.



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