If you have Montgomery County-provided trash collection service, you may place up to four paint cans out for collection at one time. [Trash cans must be under 45 pounds each, per County guidelines for household trash collection.]
For more than four paint cans, request a free bulk collection. If you have privately-arranged trash service, contact your hauler for more information.
The paint can you put into your trash will actually get recycled: household trash is processed in the County's Resource Recovery Facility. There, it is incinerated, and the dried paint burns off of the metal can. Steel (including paint cans!) and other ferrous metals are recovered from the remaining ash, and are sent to metal processors for recycling.
Why does paint need to be dried out for trash collection?
Fluid paint can spill before, during, and after collection. To avoid messes, we require that all paint be dried before we can accept it as trash.