COVID-19 update: Given the current situation, some recycling locations may be temporarily closed or have reduced hours. If you’re planning to visit a depot, we encourage you to contact them directly to confirm hours of operation and safety protocols. Please do not throw your recyclables in the trash.
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It’s official: you can recycle paint cans in almost all Canadian provinces through our programs. What does this mean for your trips to the local depot? Read on below!

recycling empty paint cans

Where can I recycle paint cans?

Nova Scotia is the most recent province to accept empty paint cans at all locations that recycle paint products. You can also recycle paint cans through our programs in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and PEI. Visit our collection site finder to find a location near you to drop off your cans!

Photo credit: Juan Rojas via Unsplash

Why should I recycle my paint cans?

While you may only have a can or two of paint in your garage, recycling your paint cans after your renovations or DIY projects is more important than you’d think! Empty paint cans aren’t usually accepted in curbside recycling programs for safety reasons, as they may have paint residue left inside them. This means the best way to recycle them is by bringing them to your nearest pain recycling site.

After you bring an empty paint can to a collection site, it is compressed and sent to a metal recycling facility to be repurposed into new metal products. This is more eco-friendly than extracting new resources from the earth, transporting them, and processing them to create metal items.

Photo credit: Amaury Salas via Unsplash

Before you visit a collection site, check your cans!

Before you visit your local collection site to recycle your paint cans (or paint!), make sure empty cans have an intact and readable label and are and in good condition, with no large dents or cuts. Collection sites can range from places like your local bottle depot to select retail locations like RonaLowe’s, Home Hardware, or Dulux.

For a list of all the paint products we accept for recycling, visit our Programs page and search for the accepted products list in your province.

Haven’t finished a full can of paint?

Fear not! Recycling is the last R in reduce, reuse, and recycle, after all—reuse comes first!

In select provinces (BC, SK, MB, ON, NL, NB) Product Care runs a paint reuse program. This program allows recyclers to donate leftover paint and pick up others’ used paint for free! This is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to repurpose paint if you have touch ups or crafty projects planned for year.

You can even create art with leftover paint—check out our blog post on Jan de Beer’s Tides gallery. Every piece in Tides was created with paint from our paint reuse program!

Feature photo credit: Steve Johnson via Unsplash.