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Paint Recycling Hits Snag in Maine

Friday, May 17, 2013

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PaintCare, the coating industry's recycling program, is rolling into Connecticut, but the spreading initiative has hit a bump on its road to Maine.

Proponents want Maine to be the next addition to the growing list of states collecting, reusing and recycling paint and coatings through PaintCare.

However, proposed legislation establishing the program will have to clear opposition hurdles.

PaintCare Inc.

The bill to bring the American Coatings Association's PaintCare program to Maine has passed the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. It will still need to go through judiciary before the House and Senate vote, ACA says.

Meanwhile, Connecticut received the green light from the state’s energy and environmental agency and plans to start implementing the program July 1.

Review in Maine

The proposed bill, L.D. 1308, “An Act to Establish a Stewardship Program for Architectural Paints,” sponsored by Sen. Thomas Saviello (R-ME), would establish an industry-run channel to recycle unwanted and unused paint.

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee approved the bill after a legislative hearing May 2. Maine would be the fifth state to enact such legislation, following Oregon, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Supporters testified at the committee hearing that the program was working well in other states.

“Success breeds success," Alison Keane, vice president of the American Coatings Association, told lawmakers. "People like the program. It’s working,”

Opposition Emerges

However, "surprising" opposition to the bill came from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, during the hearing, according to various reports.

Bureau Director Melanie Loyzim testified that the proposal lacked new incentives for consumers to recycle, would increase consumer costs, and would create a new regulatory framework.


In 2010, Maine enacted a product stewardship framework law, which has spawned a number of programs, including one for mercury thermostats.

Loyzim also said PaintCare's new per-gallon fees could undermine the state's current lead-abatement program, which is funded by a separate fee of 25 cents per gallon.

Supporters see the program as a chance to help the environment, while shifting costs from municipalities to producers and consumers.

An estimated 300,000 gallons of leftover paint ends up in landfills or incinerators in Maine and costs $2.4 million in local taxes and fees to collect, according to officials.

The bill still needs to go through judiciary before hitting the floor for votes, Keane told D+D News.

Final Approval in CT

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s Department for Energy and Environmental Protection gave final approval for the program to kick off there in July. PaintCare Inc., the nonprofit organization created by ACA to administer the program, submitted its plan for a Connecticut PaintCare program to DEEP on March 1.


Connecticut plans to begin recycling leftover and unusable paint waste through a PaintCare program July 1.

Legislation signed in 2011 mandated the paint recycling program.

The agency’s approval reflects an “important milestone for product stewardship in our state,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Etsy.

Paint retail locations, waste transfer stations, and select municipal household hazardous-waste stations will act as dropoff sites for the program. Those sites will be available in a list available in the coming weeks, according to the DEEP.

Information for retailers, paint manufacturers selling paint in Connecticut and consumers is available here.

PaintCare Beginnings

The ACA worked with state and local government stakeholders to pass the first paint product stewardship law in the United States in Oregon in 2010. California, Connecticut and Rhode Island soon followed.

In March, ACA officials urged Oregon lawmakers to repeal the 2014 “sunset date” in order to make the program permanent there.


Tagged categories: American Coatings Association (ACA); Associations; Coatings Technology; Environmental Protection; Government; Laws and litigation; Paint disposal; Paint recycling; PaintCare program

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