Where to Take Unused Paint

You’ve found the perfect house for your expanding family or have decided to downsize in your retirement. There’s one problem. Before you move, you have to pack and clean your house. During this process, you find several half-full paint cans piled in closets you rarely open and corners of your basement you never visit. What do you do?

Most things you don’t want can be thrown into the garbage without much thought. However, while it may be tempting to do that with unused paint, it is dangerous because once that paint goes to a landfill, it will leak chemicals into the ground.

Instead of throwing it in a dumpster, it is a much better idea to bring it to the Monmouth County Recycling Center, officially called the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, at 600 Asbury Avenue in Tinton Falls. We should note that’ some paints are accepted while others aren’t. Most liquid paints, which includes oil base, enamel, and spray paint, are accepted.  

You may have noticed latex paint is missing from this list. The good news is that you don’t have to take it anywhere. While you shouldn’t dump half a can of wet paint directly into the dumpster, it is easy to prepare latex paint for disposal. All you need to do is let it dry out. This won’t take much time if there’s just a little bit at the bottom of the can, but we’ve all bought much more paint than we ended up using. Waiting for a significant amount of to paint dry in a can could take days. A convenient way to dry the paint faster is to put it out in the sun with kitty litter, newspaper, or something else that can absorb paint.

For those unsure of the proper way to dispose their paint and other possibly toxic household waste, a list is available on the Monmouth County Reclamation website of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.