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City of Bellingham, WA
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Paint Disposal

Paint

Never wash out paint brushes or equipment over storm drains, open ditches or streets. Discharging water from cleaning paint equipment into the City storm system is a water quality violation.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Buy only the amount of paint you need for your project. Use any extra paint. Give a wall a second coat or use as a base coat for another project. Leftover paint may be taken to the RE Store for reuse. Call the RE Store at (360) 647-5921 for more information.

Oil-based Paint

Dispose of oil-based paint, paint containing lead, and paint thinner, at the Whatcom County Disposal of Toxics (DoT). Wash brushes and pans with paint thinner. Recycle the paint thinner by storing it in a closed jar until particles settle. Strain off the clear liquid for reuse. Take the remaining sludge to DoT.

Latex-based paint

Dispose of latex-based paint in your regular trash.  To soak up excess paint, add kitty litter or sawdust to the can and stir until firm. Allow contents to harden and place the can in the trash with the lid off. If you are connected to the City sewer system, water from washing brushes and pans should be poured down the sink so it will be treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. If you are on a septic system, do not dispose of wash water in the sink. Collect your waste water and discharge it at a facility connected to the City sewer system.

Pressure Washing

If you are removing paint by pressure washing, collect the waste water for proper disposal at the Whatcom County Disposal of Toxics. Do not allow waste water to flow into the street and down a storm drain.

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