Did you know?

Last year 366 million litres of paint (retail and trade) were sold in the UK. Of this, it is estimated that approximately 55 million litres are unused, stored in homes or garages or just thrown away.

Paints should never be poured down the drain as they can severely pollute watercourses. Try using organic and VOC free paints as alternatives to standard hazardous paints.


BBC and Dulux are just two organisations that provide online calculators. You can use these to help you work out how much you might need before you buy.

Smugglers Way Household Waste and Recycling Centre

For reuse: If you have full or virtually full cans of paint (whether oil or water-based) please place them in the red Paint Container on Recycling Bay A.  Your leftover paint will then be collected by a  East London paint reuse charity,  which redistributes the paint for reuse in the local community by individuals, families, and community groups.

For disposal:  If the quality of your paint has deteriorated, or the paint containers are less than half-full, please dispose of your unused paint (up to 10 litres)  at the Centre.

  • Water-based paint, once dried, residents can deliver it to the Smugglers Way Household Waste and Recycling Centre and place it in a Rubbish Only container.
  • Oil-based paints should be delivered to the Centre and placed in the Paint storage container in Recycling Bay A.

If the paint is not of sufficient quality to be reused, please dry and harden the paint before disposing of it at the Centre.  To assist with the drying out process, residents  should leave the lid off the paint container before bringing it to the Centre.  Adding cat litter or sawdust will help the drying out process  further.

If the paint cans are empty, please place them in a Scrap Metal container for recycling.