Paint, Varnishes, Solvents

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint may be disposed of at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District's Old Paint & Pesticide Round-up. Lids must be secured and cans placed in an open cardboard box.

Latex paint

Download Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District's latex paint disposal instructions flier (PDF).

Since latex paint is not hazardous and is comprised mostly of water, the City of Cleveland Heights asks residents to solidify latex paint so that it can be collected by the Division of Refuse and Recycling. 

Air-Dry Small Amounts

  • Allow the paint to dry by removing the lid and allowing liquids to evaporate over several days. 
  • This method works well for small amounts (an inch or two in the bottom of a can).

Add Absorbents

  • Mix liquid paint with an equal amount of an absorbent material in the paint can or in a cardboard box lined with plastic. 
  • Leave open to air dry. 
  • Use cat litter, oil dry, Fullers Earth, or similar drying agents. 
  • Allow the paint to dry one layer at a time until all paint has hardened.

Dispose of Dried Latex at Curbside

  • When thoroughly dry, place the paint can or box on the curb along with your regular refuse. 
  • Leave the lids off so the waste collector can see the paint has hardened.

Unacceptable Disposal Methods

  • Do not dump latex paint on the ground or down storm drains where it will travel directly to surface ground waters.
  • Do not pour it down the drain. While small amounts of latex paint can safely be washed down the drain, this practice should be kept to a minimum. Limit this to the brush cleaning and clean-up.
  • Do not throw liquids in the trash. It may be released from the can when trash is compacted and spill out of the waste collection vehicle onto your street.

Stains & Varnishes

Proper disposal options for these items include: 

  • Give them to a friend.
  • Set them out on the regular collection day in a separate, open-lid box a couple feet away from your refuse.
    • Be sure the lids are on tight and secure.
  • Use them up.

Turpentine, Paint Remover, Solvents, & Filters

Turpentine, paint remover, solvents, and filters can be reused until used up:

  • Pour the product through a coffee filter over a glass jar. 
    • Paint and other sludge particles will be trapped in the filter. 
  • Store the clean solvent in a sealed and labeled glass jar. 
  • Unwanted solvents should be placed in an open lid box and placed a few feet away from the trash on your regular collection day.
  • Wrap the filter in newspaper and dispose in the trash.