311 Tip: Hazardous Waste: How to Get Rid of Leftover Paint

Summertime DIY might result in some questions about how to get rid of your leftover oil and latex paints. Many people may be unaware that paints in liquid form is not an allowable item to be included in weekly curbside trash collection.

There are two identified options for getting rid of your Oil and Latex Paint: 

Option 1: Oil and Latex-based paints can be placed out in regular trash but they must be solidified first.

Harden the paint by mixing it with kitty litter or another absorbent pellet material (such as Speedy-Dri) until no liquid remains. The more absorbent the material, the faster the paint will harden. To make more room for the absorbent material, full or partially full cans of paint should be poured off into empty containers. Kitty litter is recommended for hardening oil-based paint.

Once it is solid, place the can next to your trash with the lid off so your garbage collector can see that the paint is dry. Since garbage collectors cannot pick up liquids, lids must be left off so they can see that the paint has been solidified. They will not pick it up if the lid is left on the container. For communities that use garbage carts such as the City of Covington, place dried cans inside your garbage can with the lid off.

Call 859 292 2292 with any additional questions.

Option 2: For latex-based paints that can still be usable, you can drop it off at M25M, a non-profit organization located on Kenwood Road in Cincinnati.**

M25M reblends usable liquid latex paint and helps low-budget nonprofits, schools, and public facilities complete maintenance, rehab and upgrade projects at a low cost. M25M also sends the reblended latex paint to under developed countries for their use. To learn more about Matthew 25's Rainbow Paint Reblending Program,click here.

Please follow these guidelines prior to dropping off.

  • Cans must be at least a third full; No empty or nearly empty cans will be accepted
  • Cans without original labels are not accepted
  • No oil bases or combustible paint accepted - only liquid latex paint
  • No dried paint cans
  • No deck stain is accepted
  • Only original containers with labels-no make-shift bottles or cartons
  • Latex paint should never have been frozen, if it has, it is unusable

How to Access M25M

When: Drop Off hours 9-4 M-F / 9-2 on Saturday

Where: 11060 Kenwood Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242

Contact: Bill Wojcik,, 513-936-7320

**If you know of any other ways to get rid of oil and Latex paint, please call 859 292 2186 or emailnbowers@covingtonky.govand we'll be sure to add it to our resource list.


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photo credit: Aunty P, flickr