How to Properly Dispose of Paint and Chemicals

Hello Perth eco warriors   Have you ever found yourself staring at a half used can of paint or an old bottle of drain cleaner wondering what on earth to do with it?  You’re not alone.   The proper disposal of paint and chemicals is a topic that often leaves many of us scratching our heads.

But fear not because we’re about to dive into the nitty gritty of how  to dispose of these items safely responsibly and in a way that Mother Earth would give a thumbs up to.

Swann Rubbish cleaner, cleaning art studio.
Swann Rubbish cleaner, cleaning art studio.

Swann Rubbish Removals are professionals who play a vital role in rubbish removal, recycling, junk removal and waste management, contributing to a clean and healthy environment.

They are responsible for collecting, transporting, and disposing of various types of waste from households, businesses, and construction sites while adhering to local regulations. In Perth, Swann Rubbish is a leading rubbish removalist dedicated to providing top-notch waste management services at affordable prices.

With their professional team and customer-centric approach, Swann Rubbish is an ideal choice for both residential and commercial waste disposal needs. If you need a rubbish removalist now contact Swann Rubbish at 041 443 4257.

Kanne Smith - Swann Rubbish Founder
About the Author

Kanne Smith is the founder and operator of Swann Rubbish Removal, a waste management and rubbish removal company in Perth Western Australia.

Let’s talk Rubbish!

Understanding Different Types of Paint and Chemicals

Before we start let’s get to know our ‘guests of honor’. Paints come in various types with oil based and latex (water based) being the most common. Oil based paints also known as solvent based paints are known for their durability and rich finish.

They’re perfect for hightraffic areas and surfaces that need to withstand heavy wear and tear. However they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to the environment and your health.

On the flip side latex paints are water based which means they’re easier to clean up (just a bit of soap and water will do the trick) and they dry faster. They also have lower VOC levels making them a more eco friendly choice.

Now let’s talk about household chemicals. These range from cleaning supplies like bleach and ammonia to automotive fluids like motor oil and antifreeze. They’re like the silent ninjas of our homes helpful when used correctly but potentially dangerous if mishandled. For instance bleach can sanitize surfaces and make your whites whiter but it can also cause skin irritation and respiratory issues if not used properly.

Different kinds of paint
Different kinds of paint
Different kinds of household chemicals.
Different kinds of household chemicals.

How to Dispose of Paint Properly

Now let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business. For oil based paints your best bet is to take them to a local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility. These guys are the superheroes of waste management and will ensure your paint is disposed of safely. Remember, oil based paints are considered hazardous waste due to their high VOC content, so they should never be poured down the drain or thrown in the regular trash.

Latex paint, however, is a bit more forgiving. If you have a small amount left, you can actually dry it out and dispose of it in your regular trash. Just leave the lid off, let it dry completely (you can even stir in some kitty litter or a commercial paint hardener to speed up the process), and voila! It’s ready for disposal. Just make sure to leave the dried paint in the can so your waste management company knows what it is.

And hey if you have unused paint in good condition consider donating it to local schools, community centers or theater groups. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure right? Plus it’s a great way to reduce waste and help out your community. Just make sure the paint hasn’t expired – yes paint can expire! Check the can for an expiration date before donating.

How to Dispose of Chemicals Properly

Chemicals my friends are a different ball game. Most household chemicals from your everyday cleaning supplies to the antifreeze in your garage can be taken to your local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility. These facilities are equipped to handle and dispose of these substances in a manner that’s safe for both people and the environment.

Remember never mix chemicals together as this can cause dangerous reactions. For instance mixing bleach and ammonia can produce toxic gases. And don’t forget even seemingly harmless substances like vinegar can react with other chemicals so it’s always best to keep them separate.

For hazardous chemicals it’s best to leave it to the professionals. This includes things like pesticides, automotive fluids and certain cleaning products. Contact your local waste facility for guidance. They can provide you with information on drop off locations, collection events and even at home pickup services for these types of materials.

Safe Storage of Paint and Chemicals

Storing paint and chemicals safely is just as important as disposing of them correctly. Always keep them in their original containers with the labels intact. This way you’ll always know what’s inside and so will anyone else who might come across them. If the original container is damaged transfer the contents to a similar container and make sure to label it clearly.

Store these items out of reach of children and pets ideally in a locked cabinet or a high shelf. And remember temperature matters too. Extreme heat or cold can cause containers to crack or chemicals to degrade so try to store them in a cool, dry place.

And if a spill happens don’t panic! First make sure to put on protective gear like gloves and goggles. Then absorb the spill with cat litter, sawdust or a commercial absorbent and scoop it into a sealable container. If the spill is large or involves a hazardous substance contact your local waste facility or fire department for help.

Remember safety is key when dealing with paints and chemicals. By storing and disposing of them properly we can keep our homes safe and contribute to a healthier planet.

Household chemicals stored on high shelf.
Household chemicals stored on high shelf.

The Role of Local Waste Facilities and Recycling Centers

Local waste facilities and recycling centers are the unsung heroes in our fight against waste. They handle the safe disposal of paint chemicals and other hazardous materials ensuring they don’t end up harming our environment.

In the city of Perth a number of establishments are equipped to handle various forms of waste. The primary objective of these facilities is to reduce the volume  of waste that is directed towards landfills. They achieve this by providing services such as recycling, composting and the safe disposal of hazardous materials including paints and chemicals

Additionally these facilities often conduct educational programs aimed at enlightening residents about the significance of reducing waste and the correct methods of disposal. They might also organize specific collection events for items such as electronic devices, batteries and household chemicals.

Before visiting it’s advisable to contact the facility or check their website for details regarding the items they accept and any associated costs. It’s important to note that each facility might have unique policies and procedures so it’s crucial to confirm these details beforehand.


And there we have it the enigma of how to dispose of paints and chemicals has been demystified. Remember the goal isn’t solely about tidying up our homes but also about safeguarding our planet. 

Therefore let’s play our part and dispose of these items in a responsible manner. As the old adage goes “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors we borrow it from our  children.”

In the realm of  waste disposal your local waste facility or recycling center is an invaluable ally. They possess the expertise and resources to ensure that your waste is managed in the safest and most eco friendly manner. So don’t  hesitate to contact them with any queries or concerns you might have. Together  we can contribute to a healthier planet.

Paint and paint brushes.
Paint and paint brushes.