The state of California is now a participant in the multi-state "paintcare.org" program to create a paint recycling in the state. Have you bought new paint recently? Retailers are now responsible for collecting additional taxes/fees for paint purchased, approximately 75 cents a gallon. PaintCare states they "accept house paint & primers, stains, sealers, & clear coatings (e.g., shellac & varnish) but we do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, & products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we accept are referred to as "PaintCare Products" or "architectural paint" & they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. Paint must be in its original container & the container must have a label & a secured lid. We cannot accept open or leaking cans." If you are looking for a more detailed list of what they accept, check out their PaintCare Products vs. Non-PaintCare Products page.
Once retailers charge consumers & paint contractors at the time of purchase, the state collects up all of this money, & then consumers & contractors are (in theory) supposed to have easy options for recycling unused paint. This isn't always the case as we have learned, as some recycling centers will turn you away if they have already accepted all the paint they can hold at a given time. If you are looking for a local drop off center, visit paintcare.org drop off location finder to find a local site. But take it from us, call first as they sometimes will not accept drop offs after you get all the way there :(.
Cleaning out your home can feel like such a relief; however, some materials are unable to be hauled away to the nearest dump. If you are unsure of what may & may not be hauled away here are some tips & tricks to help you. Aerosol cans containing hazardous products can not be recycled, but empty aerosol cans can be recycled in your curbside recycling barrel. Asbestos, batteries, pharmaceuticals, electronic waste, compact fluorescent light bulbs, motor oil, propane/helium tanks, syringes, needles, & vehicle tires cannot be hauled away to the dump. However, there are places to take all of these substances (though in some situations, like tires, there is a fee for disposal/recycling).
Most city’s HHW programs will take aerosol cans, batteries, TV’s, monitors, electronic waste, compact fluorescent light bulbs, syringes, & needles. There are other places that take these materials as well:
Asbestos can be taken away by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Asphalt & concrete can be taken in by Cemex, Vulcan & the Simi Valley Landfill Recycling center.
TV’s & monitors can be given to your local HHW location, like Gold Coast Recycling in Ventura.
Motor Oil & filters can be disposed of at businesses like Firestone, Jiffy Lube, O’Reilly Auto Parts, & Good Year.
Toner & Ink Cartridges can be recycled at your local Staples or Office Depot.
Vehicle Tires can be disposed of at America’s Tire Company.
We know that properly recycling of household items can be an inconvenience, but it is worth it to divert hazardous waste from our natural world like the streams, oceans, & lakes in Southern California for future enjoyment & the health of our local ecosystems. Let’s all do our part.