Oil based paints contain petroleum based solvents which are groundwater contaminants. Paints manufactured before 1978 can also contain lead. Solvents and lead are both hazardous to humans and animals. For these reasons Oil based paint should always be brought to the Solid Waste District and never landfilled or disposed of in the regular trash.
How do tell if it is oil based or latex?
Oil based paints and stains will say Flammable or Combustible on the label (usually on the front of the can towards the bottom). Oil paint will also say “clean up with mineral spirits” under the clean up instructions.
Latex paint will say Latex or Acrylic on the label. The clean up instructions will say clean up with soap and water. Latex Pants are water based and do not pose a threat to groundwater when they are dry. Absorb Latex paint by stirring cheap clay kitty litter in the can andant a 1:1 ratio and set out for the regular trash with the lid off.