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Paint Tin Disposal: Can You Throw Away Empty Paint Cans in the Trash?

Paint Tin Disposal Cover

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Can I throw away empty paint cans?”, you’re not alone. Paint tin disposal is important to get right as paint contains chemicals that are dangerous to our environments and can affect human health—as such, understanding what is legal, safe, and responsible is key to making the right choice. 

But can you throw away empty paint cans in the trash? It’s a question many are left wondering after home renovations or DIY projects but is often thrown into the “too hard basket” over concerns about safety. 

There are a few things to consider when thinking about dry paint can disposal, but the main thing to remember is that disposing of your empty paint cans can and should, be done in an environmentally safe way. 

As leading experts in paint tin disposal in Sydney, Away Today are here to ensure that the process of clearing away your used or unwanted pain tins is as easy and safe as possible. 

By the end of this article, you should have a firm grasp on how to properly dispose of paint cans, if they can be recycled, where you can take them for recycling and why it is important to recycle your empty paint cans. All your questions answered, in one place.

How to Properly Dispose of Paint Cans:

1. Follow Your Local Council’s Guidelines

Each Local Council will have its own specific guidelines, so it’s important to act within these parameters. Empty paint tins can go into either the normal rubbish or recycling bins, depending on your local council regulations. 

You can also drop off your paint cans at a Community Recycling Centre near you if they are completely empty. As of 2021, within NSW, there are more than 90 Community Recycling Centres. Most of these recycling centres are more than happy to take empty paint tins for proper disposal, and depending on your suburb; this may even be free of charge. 

2. Ensure Paint Tins Are Empty & Dry

Paint contains chemicals that can contaminate water, soil and air as well as negatively affect human health, so it is important that your paint tins are empty and dry before you dispose of them to minimise the possible side effects. 

If the paint tin you wish to dispose of contains only a minimal amount of paint, you can simply leave it in a well-ventilated area in direct sunlight to dry out completely. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can also use anything absorbent like newspaper or old clothes to soak up the excess paint and speed up the drying process. 

If you have more than just the excess paint to get rid of, then it’s worth considering if someone could use the paint instead of throwing it away. If you can’t donate it to a friend, family member or local charity, then you can buy a paint hardener that will act quickly to harden the unwanted paint so you can remove it from the tin before disposing of it. You can also use clay kitty litter, sawdust, or even concrete mix to absorb the paint before disposing of it. 

It’s worth noting that oil-based paints are considered more hazardous than latex-based paints, so you should determine which you have before deciding on a method of paint tin disposal. If your paint tin contained oil-based paint, proceed with extra caution when emptying and drying and only allow them to be in areas away from children, pets, and rain. 

3. Recycle Your Empty Paint Cans

Once you’ve emptied and dried your paint tins, you can start thinking about how to properly dispose of paint cans and if recycling is a good option. 

Recycling is the gold standard when considering how to properly dispose of old paint cans, as recycling can help recover valuable metal from the tins, which is a non-renewable resource. Recycled metal can be re-used to make new and improved items, thereby reducing emissions that would otherwise be emitted when creating new items from scratch. 

You can drop off your paint cans at a Community Recycling Centre near you if they are completely empty. As of 2021, within NSW, there are more than 90 community recycling centres. Most of these recycling centres are more than happy to take empty paint tins for proper disposal, and depending on your suburb; this may even be free of charge. You’ll have to take the lid off to show there isn’t any paint left in them so that the recycling centre knows they are safe to dispose of. 

4. Council Chemical Clean Outs

The safest way to dispose of potentially hazardous household chemicals, such as paint, is at a Household Chemical Cleanout event. You can look up when the next Household Chemical ClearOut event is through your Local Council if you still have paint left in your cans. In NSW, these events are usually held twice a year, and they are completely free. 

5. Call in the Experts

If this is all sounding too complicated and time-consuming, no need to worry. Away Today are experienced at all types of paint tin removal (as long as the tins are empty and dry), disposal and recycling and offer same day empty paint tin removal and household rubbish removal across Sydney.

Why Do I Need to Recycle Paint Tins?

Paint tin disposal is important to get right as paint contains chemicals that are dangerous to our environments and can affect human health, so understanding what is legal, safe, and responsible is key. Paint tins can also rust and take up much-needed space in our homes and garages that could be better used. 

Can You Throw Away Empty Paint Cans in the Trash?

Depending on the Local Council regulations where you live, it may be possible to dispose of empty paint cans in general or recycling bins as long as the tins are emptied and dried before doing so. 

Can I Throw Away Paint Cans in the Recycling Bin?

If the paint tins are empty, you may be able to put them in the bin if your Local Council allows it. You can also take your empty paint tins to a local Community Recycling Centre or look them up when there is a Household Chemical ClearOut event in your area. 

Can I Book Dry Paint Cans Disposal?

The good news is – yes, you can! Away Today offer same-day pick-up and removal of dry paint cans Sydney-wide. 

Where Do You Get Rid of Old Paint Cans?

As of 2021, within NSW, there are more than 90 community recycling centres. Most of these recycling centres are more than happy to take paint tin disposal, and depending on your suburb; this may even come free of charge.

However, dropping your old paint tins off at a nearby recycling centre requires you to transport the items yourself, a process that may involve heavy lifting and time. When considering the effect on the environment, it should also be said that using nearby recycling centres comes with a sense of uncertainty over just how long it would take for the paint tins to be properly disposed of.

If reducing your environmental footprint is important to you, it should also be considered that many local waste depots do not have a particularly reputable reputation for being environmentally considerate when disposing of waste, and there is still a risk of hazardous waste leaking into the environment.

Book Away Today for Paint Tin Disposal Today

If you’re time-poor and looking to take the stress out of disposing of your old paint cans, you can rely on Away Today to dispose of your old paint cans in the most responsible and sustainable way possible. We will take your old paint tins to recycling centres to be disposed of safely.

Call our experienced, dedicated team on 0491 181 130, and we’ll be able to give you an honest quote over the phone, or even come out and pick up your empty paint cans on the very same day. Providing services such as construction waste disposal and household rubbish removal, and starting at just $69, getting rid of your old paint cans has never been so easy.

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