An average of two gallons of household paint is sold per person in the United States every year. That's a lot of paint, and much of gets thrown away and ends up in landfills.

Both latex and oil paints contain chemicals (solvents and metals) that can damage soil and water if dumped on the ground or poured down the drain.

Paint should never be poured down a drain because paint chemicals can pass through the sewage treatment plant. The untreated chemicals might get discharged (let go) into lakes and streams and contaminate the waters.

Paint should be kept out of the trash, as well, because most household trash gets compacted, releasing paint from the can. If a landfill fails, the paint could seep out and contaminate the soil and ground water.