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How Do You Get Rid of Paint? Toss It? Recycle It?

Many of our summer and fall projects can only be done because the weather allows it, and one of the biggest summer projects that we take on is painting.  Whether you’re painting the outside of your house, or you’re painting individual rooms, summer is the perfect time to do it.  With plenty of sunshine outside, the time it takes for your paint to dry is drastically cut down.  If you’re painting indoors, leaving windows open so a fresh breeze can circulate through your house is essential.  Once you’ve finished – your tools all packed up and your house looking brand new – you’ll need to dispose of the excess paint properly.

As with any other project you might be tackling this summer, adequate preparation is essential.  Save on creating waste by following these steps:

  • Accurately measure the surface area you’re going to paint.
  • Check the bottom of the paint can label to know how many coats of paint you’re going to need.
  • Talk to your retailers to help you figure out how much paint you’ll need from your measurements.

Knowing exactly how much paint you’ll need will help cut down on your excess household hazardous waste.

Paints, varnishes, and solvents can have a very long shelf life if they’re taken care of properly.  Keep them for touchups and other situations that might arise. Here are some “Dos” and “Don’ts” for paint storage.


  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the can to keep rust, mold, and other contaminants out of your paint before sealing the can.
  • Create a tight seal with the lid so the product has as little exposure to air as possible.
  • Keep the products in a cool (no less than 40°F), dry place.


  • Store your paint in an unheated garage where the paint can freeze.
  • Keep paints and solvents in non-ventilated spaces because Vapors can concentrate in small areas.
  • Store these products close to sources of flames, sparks, or sources of heat like a water heater or furnace.

Once you’re finished with your painting project, the question of how/what to dispose of always comes up.

If the paint is dried without the lid on it, it can go in the Novak garbage can.

If there is excess amount of paint still in the can, it must be taken the Sioux Falls Hazardous Waste Facility:

 Household Hazardous
Waste Facility
1015 East Chambers Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 367-8695

Novak Sanitary Services makes it easy for you to find out what you can and can’t recycle with our new website.  For more information on proper paint disposal and other household hazardous waste items, contact us.  Novak Sanitation Services offers curbside residential recycling and are the leading local experts on everything recyclable.  Remember, with our Recyclebank program, earning rewards and free gifts is easy.  Visit our website to view a complete list of our services, or give us a call at 605-338-7126 and contact Novak today to get your household involved with curbside recycling and start earning rewards today!