Disposing of empty paint tins

Written by stephen lilley
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Disposing of empty paint tins
Paint is considered a hazardous material. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Once you've finished a painting project inside or outside your home, don't just let those empty paint tins sit around inside your garage or utility shed. If you want to dispose of an empty paint tin, you can do so the proper way -- or you can take a look around your house and try to find a place where the tin might come in handy.

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  1. 1

    Dispose of any remaining paint at a hazardous-waste collection facility in your area, which you can find by contacting your county council's Waste Disposal department.

  2. 2

    Use an outdoor tap or garden hose to wash any remaining dried paint out of the tin. Many scrap metal recycling depots won't take an empty paint tin if it isn't truly empty. Wash the excess paint down an outdoor drain -- not the drain inside your home.

  3. 3

    Find a recycling centre in your area using a site like Recycle More, which will help you locate facilities for disposing of leftover paint as well as the tin itself. Type your Postcode into the box at the top of the screen and click "Search" to find centres that meet your needs.

  4. 4

    Take your metal paint tin to a scrap recycling centre (if applicable). Scrapyards pay by the pound for scrap metals including aluminium. If you only have one tin you won't get much money -- but you'll know that the metal will be recycled and won't just get thrown into a landfill.

  5. 5

    Look around your home to see if an empty paint tin might be of use. For example, an empty tin may come in handy if you change the oil in your car. You might also store small pieces of material in an empty tin, such as miscellaneous screws or nuts and bolts. Likewise, the tin may be useful inside your home as a flower pot or other decoration.

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