Wet paint should not be disposed of in ordinary landfill waste. Some types of paint are less harmful and others are considered to be hazardous.

  • Water-based paints (latex) are the least harmful, but some may contain mercury.
  • Oil-based paints (enamel, lacquer, shellac and varnish) contain solvents.
  • Hobby or artist colouring paints may contain solvents or heavy metals.
  • Aerosols/spray paints contain solvents and propellants.

If you have a large amount of leftover paint, consider donating it to a good cause, for example, repainting a community facility. If there is very little paint remaining, leave the lid off until it has dried out, so metal recyclers can use the tin. Hazardous paints should be disposed of safely through an appropriate collection facility. 

On-campus contact:

At Rhodes University, staff and students should dispose of paint products as follows:

  • Old paint and engine oil: RU Mechanical Workshop (Engineering Section), 046-603.8238 / d.martin(at)

  • Paint thinners: Rhodes University contact for hazardous waste disposal: Mr Francis Chindeka, Chief Technical Officer, Chemistry Department, 046 603 8267 / f.chindeka(at) 

Off-campus contact: Approach local hardware stores for assistance.

Return to main Hazmat Waste Disposal page.

More Info

RU Safety, Health & Environmental Officer, 046 603 7205 or safety(at)

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)

Last Modified: Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:26:58 SAST