PLEASE NOTE: from May 2016 we have a brand new way of disposing unwanted paint in Australia.  The national scheme called paintback will be introduced allowing retail and trade customers to dispose of paint free of charge.  If you have any to dispose of now, please try and hold off until May.  Here is the link to their website 




Leftover paint should never be discarded into bins, poured down the drain, or poured into the garden.

Paint disposed of in this fashion will more than likely end up washing into a storm or sewer drain, where it will flow directly (without any treatment) into the local waterways.

Acrylic or water based Paint Disposal

If you must dispose of leftover latex paint, either let it dry on its own or mix it with kitty litter. If you take the paint to the Council tip or landfill, you may be required to remove the lid so the sanitation workers can be sure it is no longer in liquid form.

Latex paint manufactured before 1992 may contain lead or mercury. If there’s even a chance that your paint contains these elements, contact the manufacturer or the Environmental Protection Agency to find out about proper paint disposal methods.

Oil (Alkyd-Based) Paint Disposal

Oil paints contain enamel, lacquer, varnish, and shellac, and are considered household hazardous waste. Leftover oil paint should be taken to an HHW collection facility.

Aerosol Paint Disposal

Aerosol paints are considered household hazardous waste as well, because they contain propellants and solvents. If an aerosol paint can still contains any paint at all, it should be taken to an HHW collection facility for proper disposal.

Artist/Hobby Paint Disposal

Artist and hobby paints often contain solvents and heavy metals that can contaminate water. These paints should also be taken to an HHW facility.

Additional Tips for Paint Disposal

  • Read the label. Most manufacturers include instructions for proper paint disposal.
  • Empty paint containers may be thrown in the garbage. If you can’t get paint out of the container with a brush or by turning it upside down, it can be considered empty.
  • If you’re unsure about the acceptable practices for paint disposal in your community, check with your local HHW or recycling coordinator


Stephen Lockyer
Stephen Lockyer
Professional painters and Decorators on the Gold Coast. Serving all your interior and exterior painting needs.

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