Helping Santa Fe Rethink Their Waste
Paints & Solvents
Hazardous waste, known as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW),
can cause potential harm to a community’s health and environment if not handled with precaution. Waste that falls under this category requires special disposal and cannot be disposed of like common household trash or recycling.

You can recycle your phone books at any of the following drop off bin locations:
County Transfer Stations >

HOURS: 8:00 a. m. - 4:45 p. m. Monday - Sunday

HOURS: 7:00 a. m. - 5:00 p. m. Monday - Saturday


Oil based paint is made out of pigments and binders, like synthetic resins derived from petroleum.  When not properly stored or recycled the vapors and chemicals can pose a health threat on both humans and the environment.  The good news is you can recycle unused oil based paint to prevent it from getting into our ground water and to protect the health of yourself and others.

Latex paint (water-based acrylic paint) contains water-soluble binders, like acrylic resins.  It is not considered a hazardous waste like oil-based paint is.  Good quality latex paint can be recycled into new latex paint for reuse.  Or, if you have an empty or almost empty old can that is dirty or contaminated, you can put it in your garbage can as long as the paint is dry or solidified first.

To dry out your paint can, try mixing in:

  • Kitty litter
  • Paint hardener
  • Saw dust

Once the liquid has dried and is not runny, you can throw it with the rest of your garbage.

Prevent leftover paint!  It can save you money and the trouble of disposal.  Visit the Paint Calculator to find out how much paint you’ll need for your next project.


Stains, varnishes, lacquer, acetone, and turpentine are all solvents with a purpose are to adjust the properties and viscosity of the paint.  Solvents should never be put down the drain, toilet, or poured outside.  Many are flammable or explosive and are very harmful to you and the environment.  The good news is they can be recycled for fuel blending and don’t need to end up in our landfill.

Where can I recycle paints & solvents?

BuRRT – Fridays & Saturdays from 8:00am-4:45pm

What about unused oils & paints?

If you have good quality oils or latex paint left over from a project, consider donating them:

Craigslist – Santa Fe

Habitat For HumanityReStore

2414 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe
(505) 473-1114

Check their website or call to see if they will accept your item.

What do I do with my empty container(s)?

Paint & solvent cans and containers cannot be recycled because of their toxic residue and should be thrown in the trash.