The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s PaintCare program, the nation’s first paint product stewardship “take-back” program, begins operation today (Thursday, July 1).
The program, funded by paint and coatings manufacturers, allows consumers to return unused paint to participating retailers and other sites for proper disposal. The pilot program is expected to collect as much as 600,000 gallons of leftover paint annually in Oregon, says the Product Stewardship Institute Inc., which played a key role in development of the program. The institute also says it anticipates that the program will eventually be adopted nationwide.
While statewide paint collection services are available July 1, additional collection locations will be phased in over the next six months. Manufacturers of covered products may not sell their product in Oregon unless they are participating in the PaintCare program.
The program is the result of the Oregon Paint Product Stewardship law, enacted last year by the state legislature. The law directed manufacturers of paint and coatings sold in Oregon to set up and run “a convenient, statewide system” for the collection of post-consumer latex and oil-based paint. The program also is the result of a national agreement facilitated by the non-profit Product Stewardship Institute, which convened paint manufacturers, retailers, contractors, recyclers, and government officials to jointly develop an environmentally sound and economically efficient solution to the leftover paint problem.
Oregon DEQ Director Dick Pedersen heralded the program as “another indication that Oregon is a leader in implementing the concept of product stewardship as a means of better managing the products manufactured and used.”
The American Coatings Association (ACA) created the non-profit organization PaintCare to administer the program. Consumers will pay for the program by paying a surcharge on paint and stain containers. PaintCare, in turn, provides a series of depots statewide where residents can drop off unused paint. PaintCare pays an administrative fee to DEQ ($10,000 for submittal of the program plan and $10,000 annually thereafter) on behalf of manufacturers for plan approval and program enforcement/oversight.
“The paint industry has committed to properly managing leftover paint in Oregon, and we are ready to step up and assume that responsibility,” said Alison Keane, ACA counsel. “We appreciate being able to work with DEQ and PSI to bring significant environmental and financial benefits to communities around Oregon.”
More information on the PaintCare program, including drop-off locations for the Oregon program, is available at the PaintCare website, www.paintcare.org.