How to Dispose of Lead Paint Chips

Lead paint is often present in older homes, especially those built before 1978. Paint chips from lead paint pose a particular threat to children and animals who might ingest them. Areas that could contain lead paint in your home include walls, door and window frames and painted furniture. Paint chips from these items require the same special disposal as the items themselves because of the toxicity.

Items with chipping lead paint need to be handled carefully.
  1. Contact the contractor who was working on your home if lead paint chips were left behind. By law, the contractor needs to dispose of the lead paint chips for you.

  2. Call your city government office to find out how you are supposed to dispose of lead paint chips if no contractor was involved. Your options may include putting the waste in your trash or taking it to a municipal solid-waste landfill or a household hazardous-waste collection site.

  3. Locate an appropriate facility in your area by asking your local government office, or using online resources, like the "State Lead Paint Abatement Tool" offered by the Environmental Compliance Assistance Program (see resource section below).

  4. Pack up the lead paint chips in a sealable container or bag before disposing of them in your regular trash or taking them somewhere for disposal. This helps prevent them from being spread around the environment.


  • Never put lead paint in your trash if your city or county burns trash after it is collected. The fumes that are created by the burning of lead paint chips will be toxic.
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