Paint Cans (Empty) Curbside Trash Residents may drop-off old paint cans at the West County HHW Collection Facility. Empty and dry metal paint cans, as well as completely empty aerosol paint cans can also be placed into the trash bin. Dry Out, then Dispose Make sure paint cans are completely empty and dry. Dispose with the lid off because this shows that the can is completely dry. Keep If Not Empty If the can is not entirely empty, store it for future use. Once a paint can is opened, it will last for two years, but an unopened can of oil, acrylic or latex paint can last for over 10 years.