Open the lids to any paint cans that you want to dispose of. Cans which contain less than a pint of paint will dry in a few days. Full cans of paint for which you have no further use should be recycled or repurposed. Consider donating unwanted paint to a local charity organization.
Throw the paint can in the trash once the paint inside has dried completely. This is possible because latex and oil-based paint solids are nontoxic. The solvents which thin the paint for application are toxic. Lead-based paint should be taken to a recycling facility whether it is dried or not. If recycling paint, keep latex and oil-based paint separate because they must be recycled separately.
Recycle solvents, household cleaners and automotive chemicals such as oil, antifreeze and transmission fluid at an EPA-approved recycling center. Automotive parts stores recycle automotive chemicals and some home stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's accept paint or other household hazardous chemicals for recycling.