Berrien County Household Hazardous Waste collections accepts oil-based paint only, no latex paint will accepted. There are 6 one-day Household Hazardous Waste Collection events each year. Donate good, unused paint to theater, civic, charitable, or art organizations in the area.

Unwanted Latex Paint

Ace Hardware in St. Joseph and Ace Hardware in Stevensville accept latex paint for recycling. Recycling fees are $1.50 per pint can, $2 per quart can, $3.50 per gallon can, and $12 per 5 gallon can.

Choose latex paint over oil-based paint when applicable. Purchase only the quantity needed and use the product as it was intended to be used. Use up all the paint if possible (put on another coat to use it up).

Latex Paint Disposal

Dried out latex paint can be thrown away with the regular trash. If latex paint is dried out within the paint can, leave the lid off the paint can and place the paint can in with regular trash.

Latex Paint Drying Tips

  • In an area that is protected from children, pets and rain, with good air flow, open the lid to the paint can, stir, and allow liquids to evaporate (good for small quantities).
  • Stir in Latex Paint Drying Powder, found at most hardware stores, for quickest drying.
  • Mix in equal amounts of an absorbent material, such as cat litter, sawdust, soil, vermiculite, or charcoal and allow the mixture to dry.
  • Pour thin layers (about 1 inch) into a cardboard box lined with plastic. Allow to dry one layer at a time until all the paint is hardened.
  • For paint that has separated and cannot be mixed, pour off the clear liquids on top into a plastic lined cardboard box, mix with equal amounts of absorbent material and allow to dry. Leave the semi-solid paint sludge in the can to dry.
  • Paint excess amounts of paint on cardboard or newspaper to use it up.


  • Do not dump paint on the ground or down storm drains, where it can travel directly to surface or ground water.
  • Do not pour paint down the drain. Septic systems and wastewater treatment plants can safely handle small amounts of latex paint only, so limit this to paint brush cleaning and general clean-up.
  • Do not throw liquid paint in the trash - prevent leakage into the landfill.