Santa Clara County Paint Disposal Guide In 2023

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Do you have a pile of old paint cans in your garage, basement, or storage room? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us accumulate leftover paint from home improvement projects and don’t know what to do with it. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to dispose of paint in Santa Clara County, California.

Why Proper Paint Disposal is Important

Paint is considered hazardous waste, and improper disposal can harm the environment and human health. When paint is thrown in the trash or poured down the drain, it can contaminate groundwater, soil, and air. The toxic chemicals in paint can harm wildlife and cause health problems for humans. Therefore, it’s essential to dispose of paint safely and responsibly.

Options for Paint Disposal

In Santa Clara County, there are several options for paint disposal. The first option is to use the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program. This program accepts unwanted paint, free of charge, from Santa Clara County residents. You can drop off your paint at one of the designated facilities, which are open on specific days and times. Another option is to donate your unwanted paint to a local charity or community organization. Some organizations accept paint donations and use them for community projects or to help low-income families with home repairs. If your paint is still usable, you can also try to give it away on websites like Freecycle or Craigslist. Many people are looking for free or low-cost paint for their DIY projects and may be happy to take it off your hands.

Preparing Paint for Disposal

Before you dispose of your paint, there are a few steps you should take to prepare it. First, check the label to see if it’s oil-based or water-based. Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and requires special handling. Water-based paint can be disposed of with regular trash after it’s dried out. To dry out water-based paint, you can mix it with kitty litter, sawdust, or other absorbent materials. Once the paint is solid, you can dispose of it in the regular trash. Oil-based paint must be taken to an HHW facility for proper disposal.

HHW Facility Locations and Hours

Santa Clara County has four HHW facilities that accept paint and other hazardous waste. The facilities are open on specific days and times, so it’s essential to check their schedules before visiting. The locations and hours are: – San Jose HHW Facility: 1401 N. San Pedro St., San Jose, CA 95110 (open Fridays and Saturdays, 9 am – 3 pm) – Sunnyvale HHW Facility: 550 E. Remington Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (open Thursdays and Fridays, 8:30 am – 11:30 am and 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm, and the first Saturday of each month, 8 am – 12 pm) – Gilroy HHW Facility: 1231 10th St., Gilroy, CA 95020 (open the second Saturday of each month, 8 am – 12 pm) – Morgan Hill HHW Facility: 70 W. Edmundson Ave., Morgan Hill, CA 95037 (open the third Saturday of each month, 8 am – 12 pm)


Proper paint disposal is essential for protecting the environment and human health. In Santa Clara County, residents have several options for disposing of paint, including the HHW Program, donation to local charities, and giving it away for free. Remember to prepare your paint for disposal by checking the label and drying out water-based paint. If you have oil-based paint, take it to an HHW facility for proper handling. By following these guidelines, you can dispose of your paint safely and responsibly.