Nail Polish Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste No Nail Polish in the Garbage The EPA considers nail polish hazardous waste, and it needs to be disposed of as such. Don’t throw it into the regular garbage or a recycling bin, and don’t dump it down the drain. Alternative Ways to Recycle Côte Recycling Program Mail in used bottles of nail polish to Côte’s Recycling Program and receive 10 percent off a future purchase. Ways to Reuse Empty? Fill With Touch-Up Paint Put household paint into an empty nail polish bottle and use it for small touch-ups around the house. You can clean out traces of old polish first using non-toxic paint thinner. Did You Know? The Origins of Nail Polish Nail polish was invented in China as early as 3000 BC. The colors you wore depended on which class you belonged to. Lower classes painted their nails nude and other pale colors, while the upper classes painted theirs red.