Where can I recycle?

Your local household waste recycling centre may have a donation point for paint – it is re-used rather than recycled.

Alternatively, donate your paint directly to a local Community Repaint scheme.

If there isn’t a Community RePaint scheme in your local area, but you would like to be able to donate your leftover paint for reuse, this guide will take you through the process of setting-up a local scheme or use this letter template to let your council know.

Keep your paint in tip top condition…

  • When opening lids, do so carefully to avoid damaging the can sealing ring;
  • Protect the paint from frost and extreme temperatures as these can damage the paint;
  • To stop your paint from drying out – ensure the lid is on securely and tightly; tip the container upside down for a few seconds (this will help stop a skin forming on the paint); store the paint containers in an upright position.

Pass it on…

If you have unwanted paint, which is still usable there are several ways you can dispose of it.

  • Ask family and friends – it might be perfect for a painting project they have in mind;
  • Donate it to a local project – Community Repaint is a network of paint donation schemes; find your nearest scheme on their website. Please note: Only usable paint suitable for domestic application can be accepted.  Unfortunately they are unable to accept oil-based glosses, satinwoods, eggshells, primers or undercoats which have the orange high-VOC symbol paint, aerosols & spray paints, paint over 10 years old, paint containing lead or paint that is not in its original container.


  • ​ Councils are unable to accept liquid paint as part of your household waste collection, as liquid wastes are banned from landfill sites, so if you can’t use it up or find it a good home by giving it away you will need to harden it before disposal. You can buy a paint hardener, or add sawdust, sand or soil to the tin and leave the lid off until the paint becomes solid and dry (please pierce the dried paint before taking it to a household waste recycling centre to make sure it’s fully hardened);
  • It’s likely that your council will accept unwanted paint at one of its Household Waste Recycling Centre sites where it can be placed in a special container specifically for paint;
  • Solvent based paint, paint thinner and white spirit should be disposed of as hazardous waste.