Can I put paint in a skip?


People ask many questions when it comes to wanting to hire skips. One of the most common is if paint can be put into a skip. Generally, paint or varnish whether it is oil or water based cannot be disposed of in a skip for a number of reasons, which we will explore. In this post we will aim to give some help, advice and tips about dealing with left over paint, including how to keep and store it for future use, how to use it if more paint of the same colour is needed and then how to safely and legally dispose of it and the options that are available to you.

Why Can’t I put paint in a skip?

Generally, you cannot place water based or oil-based paint / varnish in a skip. The reason for this is that paint, and particularly oil-based paint can be very high in volatile organic compounds, (VOCs) and therefore classed as hazardous and damaging to the environment. Another reason is that wet paint will contaminate other items being recycled and can also damage machinery at the recycling centre such as conveyor belts and electrical components. When you buy paint or varnish there will be a label on the can advising of the VOC measure from low to very high. This is why there are now many more choices available with regards to water-based paints, which have a much lower VOC rating. Another benefit of water-based paint is that is much easier to clean brushes and rollers etc. plus it doesn’t carry the lingering smell of oil paint and you won’t need to buy solvent-based brush cleaner, just use soap and water.

Disposing of paint

If you really want got rid of excess paint our best advice is to add sand to the part full cans and mix it in. Leave the lids off the cans and let it harden and then dispose of these at your local recycling centre who are able to process it without further harm to the environment. When you need to get rid of the actual paint, most household waste recycling centres will accept it so give them a call and double check before you go. Alternatively, many charities and community groups will take the paint away and sell this to people who cannot afford to buy new paint or only need a small quantity.  Of course, you can always offer spare paint to family and friends who could find good use for it. Its also worth remembering that paint is not cheap so why not keep hold of it for future use?

As long as you fully seal the paint lid it will keep for a good couple of years and the best way to seal it is to shake the can after replacing the lid firmly so that some of the paint will coat the space between the can and the lid. When you want to use the paint and will need more of the same colour, then mix all new and old paint together so that you get an even colour as different paint batch numbers can have an effect of the shade. Keep used paint in a frost-free place for maximum shelf life. If a skin has formed on the top of the old paint just cut around the edge with a sharp knife and then remix it.

Please remember that you cannot hide paint under other items in a skip and hope that this will be ok. It is illegal and you could be fined. In addition, skip truck drivers will look out for paint and other banned items and will refuse to remove a skip until such items have been removed. Finally, never pour paint down drains or other water courses as this is very damaging to the environment and again it is illegal. If you are in any doubt, please call us at DoHire or call 0330 223 6993 and we will be happy to help further.

To find out more about skip hire and to get an instant price, why not visit our skip home page to get an instant quote on a range of skip sizes – 2 yard, 4 yard, 6 yard, 8 yard along with other sizes available. We offer a friendly and convenient nationwide service.


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