Paints and Finishes




Latex paintRecycle Latex Paints and Stains

WHERE: Turn in latex paint to the Emmet County Drop-off Center, 7363 Pleasantview Road, Harbor Springs

WHEN: April 1 to November 1 annually.

WHAT: We accept any latex paint, stain or additive in any condition is accepted. Sealed cans only, please.

HOW: It’s easy! No need to solidify the paint, just drop if off. Please don’t add anything to paints or stains to be recycled.

COST: These fees pay for space on a truck to haul the paint to Battle Creek, not the paint recycling process, so they are per can/bucket, regardless of the amount of paint left.
$2/gallon can
$10/5-gallon bucket
$0.50/quart can

THE PRODUCT: “Everybody’s Paint”, a high-quality recycled paint, is sold at Habitat for Humanity Restores, including Habitat for Humanity Restore of Harbor on Harbor-Petoskey Road (M-119).

Check out ePaint’s great Michigan-inspired colors, like “Mackinaw Green,” “Petoskey Stone,” and “Apple Blossom.”

Jim Cosby of ePaint Recycling on our first day collecting latex paint for recycling.


Paint Recycling Backstory

The guy on the left in the green shirt is Jim Cosby, the paint mastermind behind Emmet County’s latex paint recycling events. He and his crew turn your unwanted paint or stain into new, high-quality paint. His company is called ePaint Recycling and it’s located in Battle Creek, recovering valuable resources and supporting Michigan jobs.

But that’s not all!  The resulting high quality paint is sold by Habitat for Humanity Restores, so they benefit too.  Check out Jim’s great Michigan-inspired colors at the Harbor Springs Restore.




Other paint“Down-cycle” Oil-based Paints and Other Finishes

To dispose of oil-based paints and other finishes, bring them to a Household Chemical Drop-off Day.  Generally, they will be used as fuel for power and cement plants with pollution control “scrubbers” to capture their non-flammable components.  While not truly recycling, this “down-cycling” or  “waste utilization” is better than the alternative of incinerating them without capturing their energy potential.

This includes:
Oil-based paints
Oil-based stains
Wood preservative stain/paint
Linseed oil




Not sure what kind of paint it is?

Look for these clues on the can to determine the kind of paint/finish and how to recycle or dispose of it.

Clue Set #1

  • Acrylic or latex is used to describe it.
  • Clean-up instructions say to use soap and water.
  • Protection from freezing is recommended on the label.

Type Indicated by Set #1: Water-based “latex” paints  |  Recycle per latex paint instructions above


Clue Set #2

  • Alkyd, oil-based, epoxy or flammable are used describe it.
  • It may be called stain, polyurethane, deck preservative, linseed oil, varnish or shellac.
  • Clean-up instructions say to use special solvents such as paint thinner, turpentine or mineral spirits.

Type Indicated by Set #2: Oil-based paints and other finishes  |  “Down-cycle” per oil-based paint instructions above


Clue Set #3

  • May be either water or oil-based.
  • “Mildew resistant” or “kills mildew” is used to describe it.
  • “Wood preservative” is used to describe it.
  • Pictures on the can look like they are from the 1980s or earlier.
  • The can feels heavier than you would expect it to.

Type Indicated by Set #3: Paints containing lead or pesticides  |  Dispose per oil-based paint instructions above