Like most do-it-yourself home tasks, planning ahead for a paint project can save materials and time. To avoid leftover paint, calculate the amount of paint needed for each project and then only buy enough paint to complete the job. If paint is leftover after a project, consider either using up the paint by re-coating or properly storing the container for future touch-ups.
For paint that is not suitable for re-coating or saving, proper disposal is the best option. Although empty paint cans and cans with dried paint may be placed in the household trash, it is best to restrict liquids from local landfills. Best practices for disposing of liquid paint include:
- Dry out latex paint by adding an absorbent like kitty litter or sawdust and then place the dry paint mixture and containers in the trash. Be sure to remove the lids from the containers so your hauler will know that no liquid paint is in the container.
- Drop-off unwanted liquid paint in its original, labeled container at a paint collection sponsored by Macon County Environmental Management in partnership with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Collection events are held in the parking lot of the Macon County Environmental Management’s Recycling Center at 1750 N. 21st Street, Decatur, Illinois (click here for a map). The 2017 paint collection events are:
Wed., Apr. 5, 2 PM- 6 PM
Wed., Apr. 26, 2 PM – 6 PM
Wed., May 10, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Wed., May 24, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Wed., June 14, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Wed., July 12, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Wed., Aug. 9, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Wed., Sept. 13 , 2 PM – 6 PM
Wed., Sept. 27, 2 PM – 6 PM
Wed., Oct. 11, 9:30 AM – 1 PM
Household-generated, consumer latex paints, oil-based paints, stains and varnishes in original, labeled containers (pint-sized cans to five-gallon buckets) are accepted at the collections. Due to regulatory directives, no commercial (including paint from landlords and property managers), automobile, epoxy, craft, spray or industrial paint will be accepted. Please dispose of empty paint cans and cans with dry paint by placing the cans with their lids removed in the household trash rather than bringing these items to a collection.
Please note that traffic congestion is most likely to occur during the first collection of the year and during the first hour of each collection.
Paint collected in this program is bulked into drums and then transported to a permitted incinerator for disposal.
In the event of rain, storms or alike, collections may be cancelled. During questionable conditions, please monitor Macon County Environmental Management’s Twitter feed @MaconCoEnvMgt or call the office at 217-425-4505.
Click here for a printable flyer of the 2017 Paint Collections.
Household, aerosol paint may be disposed by following the product’s directions regarding ventilation and flammability and then spraying the contents of the can into a cardboard box. Once the paint is dry, place the empty aerosol cans and treated cardboard in an outdoor trash receptacle for pick up by your hauler. Alternatively, aerosol paints may be managed as a household hazardous waste.
See the Household Hazardous Waste section, for information about the disposal of chemicals such as paint thinner, solvents, harsh cleaners, pesticides, pool chemicals and more.