PaintCare Programs Hit 50M Gallons Collected
PaintCare—the nonprofit organization set up by paint manufacturers to operate paint recycling programs—recently announced that it has collected more than 50 million gallons of paint from homes and businesses.
“We are excited to announce our 50 millionth gallon of paint collected across ten programs,” said PaintCare President Marjaneh Zarrehparvar.
“We are grateful to our partners—paint and hardware stores, household hazardous waste facilities, and other organizations, working together with paint manufacturers to take responsibility for leftover paint and lower the cost of paint management. Our program offers new options for households, businesses, and institutions to dispose of leftover paint responsibly, diverting it from landfills to be recycled into new paint products, or put to other beneficial uses.”
PaintCare programs are available in states that have passed paint stewardship laws and provide a statewide network of locations where the public can recycle leftover paint, stain and varnish. According to PaintCare, the laws aim to ensure that everyone involved in the production, sale and use of paint work together to manage the entire product life cycle of paint.
The program is funded by a fee on sales of new paint and remitted to PaintCare by paint manufacturers to operate the program. The fee funds all aspects of the program in each state, including paint collection, transportation, processing and public education.
Oregon was the first to pass such a law in 2009, and over the past decade was followed by similar laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and, most recently, New York, where a new program is expected to begin operation in 2022.
According to the organization, there are more than 2,000 drop-off sites across all of PaintCare’s programs, most at paint and hardware retail stores. In addition, PaintCare has managed paint from more than 5,840 collection events.
“As PaintCare is surpassing this impressive milestone, it continues to hone its operations and public outreach efforts. Recently, the organization lowered its threshold to quality for a large volume pickup from 200 gallons to 100 gallons, measured by container size (not liquid volume), creating a new opportunity for large scale paint collection for many more consumers,” the organization said in a statement.
In early March, New Jersey’s state Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee unanimously passed legislation for a PaintCare program—a paint stewardship program involving paint manufacturers and producers in conjunction with the American Coatings Association. The measure is expected to go to the state house.
The legislation would specifically require PaintCare to establish a paint collection site within 15 miles of 90% of the state’s residents. Permanent collection sites must set up for every 30,000 residents of a population center.
The program could end up diverting 85-90% of paints and other products from landfills. It’ll be financed by a fee on new sales (not through the state), however, when consumers bring in leftover paint there is zero cost to consumers to have it collected.
ACA said that that this could be critical in New Jersey where only five of the 21 counties even accept latex paint for recycling and proper disposal—latex paint being 80% of the paint sold today. Those few counties that do accept latex paint do so at a great cost. For example, Ocean County reported spending over $200,000 on their paint management program in 2013 alone.
For municipalities that participate in collection, the program would pay them to transport and manage the product, meaning that the bill could help save money at the county level.
ACA worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the state’s local waste authorities, HHW program managers and Product Stewardship Councils.