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Paint operations generate waste paint in three main areas:

  1. Solvents used in cleanup operations,
  2. Leftover paint after completion of a project, and
  3. Volatile Organic Compounds emitted to the atmosphere.


  • Use paint and solvents with the lowest possible VOC content. Avoid oil based paints and paints containing metals. Use latex paints whenever possible.
  • Limit your use of thinner to the maximum extent possible. Use cleaning solvent the maximum number of times before disposal.
  • Try to practice good inventory control. But only enough paint to complete the job.
  • Keep all paint and solvent containers closed when not in use to minimize evaporation and prevent spills.
  • Use an industrial rag service to avoid having to treat solvent rags as hazardous waste.
  • Contact EHS for assistance with disposal of paint and paint related material.
  • If you collect paint or solvent waste in drums, keep the lid closed at all times, unless adding material, and label the container “Used Paint” or another applicable name.


  • Do Not discharge any paint, solvent, or paint cleanup wash water into storm drains, surface water, or onto the ground.
  • Do Not dispose of paint filters in a dumpster if you are using oil based paints.