Paint disposal and recycling

Australia's national waste paint and packaging solution

Used and unwanted paint are some of the most common liquid waste found in landfills. About 5% of the 100 million litres of paint bought every year ends up as hazardous landfill waste. However, with safe paint disposal practices, waste paint and its by-products can be recycled and turned into valuable commodities.

Cleanaway has joined forces with Paintback, a not-for-profit company, to make this a reality. We have made paint disposal and recycling easy, enabling customers to simply drop their unused paint, sealed waste paint or paint cans off at any of Paintback's waste paint collection points nationwide. As of November 2017, Paintback and Cleanaway have collected and treated over 5 million kilograms of unwanted paint and packaging.

What happens to waste paint?

The waste paint and paint containers collected by Cleanaway and Paintback will be sorted and then processed to turn them from waste to valuable resources.

The metal and plastic containers that hold the paint can be recycled and turned into new packaging materials. Water-based paint will be processed. The by-products of water-based paint can be used in a variety of industrial applications, such as mixing with cement, as industrial water or used in composting.

For solvent-based paint, it will be recycled and used as an alternative fuel source for a local cement manufacturer.

Diverting waste paint from landfill does not only help to make a sustainable future possible, but also keeps our environment safe by reducing the risk of the hazardous materials found in paint from causing environmental damage.

Eligible products

Our partnership with Paintback makes it easy for customers and businesses to dispose unwanted and used paint across Australia. The types of products accepted are:

  • Deck coatings and floor paints
  • Interior and exterior architectural paint
  • Packaging
  • Varnishes and urethanes (single components)
  • Wood coatings
  • Empty paint cans

Please ensure that all cans are sealed properly at drop-off.

For paint products not listed, such as spray paint cans, or for volumes larger than 100 litres, please contact Cleanaway directly for information.

Paint drop-off sites


Cleanaway is certified to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and AS 4801 (OHS) standards, helping to reduce your risk profile.

Unsurpassed Quality

Environmental Benefits

Fully Compliant Fleet For Collection And Delivery

Closed Loop Recycling

ISO Certified