WA Recycles Over 800,000 Gallons of Paint

FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022

At the beginning of the month, PaintCare released its first annual report for its Washington paint recycling program, reporting that it collected approximately 842,000 gallons of unwanted paint during the first year of operations.

The annual report added that of the latex paint dropped off during the first year, 88.1% was recycled back into paint.

PaintCare further noted that 581,363 gallons were collected in just the first nine months of the Washington program—89% of that was latex and 11% was oil-based. The program, which is guided by the state’s paint stewardship law (SHB 1652), officially launched on April 1, 2021, and is comprised of 210 year-round drop-off sites.

The law ensures that everyone who produces, sells and uses paint work together to manage its entire life cycle and was made possible by support from multiple stakeholders, including Washington’s Department of Ecology, the ACA, the Product Stewardship Institute, the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and Zero Waste Washington.

“It is estimated that about 10% of all household paint gets thrown away and can end up in landfills. Washingtonians chose to convert this waste product into a beneficial resource,” said Brett Rodgers, Director of Communications, PaintCare.

“From day one, households and businesses across the state were engaged in recycling efforts. We owe a tremendous thank you to all of our partners that helped get this program off the ground. The outpouring of community support has been immense.”

The nonprofit organization created the paint stewardship program involving paint manufacturers and producers in conjunction with the American Coatings Association to manage leftover paint in states that have enacted paint stewardship laws.

In addition to working with centrally located paint retail stores and locally managed government facilities to successfully recycle leftover latex- and oil-based architectural paint, stain and varnishes, PaintCare also offers free on-location pickup to businesses, organizations and households with 100 gallons of paint or more to recycle.

“These programs allow us to put paint back on the shelf, protect the environment, and save local governments millions of dollars each year,” continued Rodgers. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far and look forward to continue working with our partners to safely and responsibly recycle even more paint in Washington state.”

According to PaintCare, the paint stewardship law includes a small fee—called the PaintCare fee—on the sale of any new paint in the state, which funds all aspects of the program including paint collection, transportation, processing and public education.

The fee calls for $0.45 for containers of paint larger than a half pint up to smaller than one gallon; $0.95 for one to two gallons; and $1.95 for containers larger than two gallons and up to five gallons. All PaintCare sites accept up to five gallons per visit, while some are reported to take more.

Paint must be dropped off in its original container with its original manufacturer’s label.

PaintCare Elsewhere

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 New York.

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.

In July 2019, the New York State Assembly approved legislation establishing a PaintCare program.

The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization was established in 2009 and works through a Paint Producer Stewardship Initiative, which is facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute. In August 2021, the program was reported to have collected over 50 million gallons of paint.

New York Assembly Bill A6373 established the PaintCare program within the state, and requires that producers of architectural coatings sold in retail or through a representative organization within the state submit a plan to the commissioner of environmental conservation for the establishment of the program, and forbids a producer or retailer to sell architectural paint unless it has already implemented an approved program plan.

In March 2021, 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 its 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.

In November, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) announced that it would be committing to new targets for its paint recycling scheme, PaintCare. The ambitious new target calls for increasing the percentage leftover paint reused, recycled or remanufactured from the current 2% to 75% by 2030.

According to BCF, sustainable production and recycling of paint have been a key focus in the United Kingdom’s coating industry since 1996 and are the basis for nearly 50 health, safety and environment key performance indicators monitored through the BCF’s Coatings Care program.

Latest Coatings Care figures showed record low levels of energy used in production as well as a significant decrease in production waste. Additional figures revealed that 71% of production waste is now recycled, compared to 17% in 1996.

Most recently, last month, a latex paint recycling company based out of Colorado started setting up operations in Rotterdam, New York, to reprocess old architectural coatings under the state’s new paint stewardship rules.

GreenSheen leased 40,000 square feet in the Rotterdam Corporate Park for the recycling facility, with plans to hire 25 people. By August, the paint recycler plans to be operating at 60-70% capacity.

According to The Daily Gazette, the facility operations will be supported by a fee for consumers on paint and certain paint-related products: 45 cents for containers holding 17-127 ounces of paint; 95 cents for 1–2-gallon containers; and $1.95 for larger containers up to five gallons. There is no fee for containers holding less than one pint of paint.

It is reported that GreenSheen established these fees for the cost of running the operation and that they are not fees established by the state for the program.

During the recycling process, GreenSheen filters and purifies waste paint into 18 basic colors and sells the recycled product in 1- to 275-gallon containers. Noted to have an eggshell finish, the acrylic can be used for interior or exterior applications and has a five-year warranty.

GreenSheen Founder and CEO, Kevin Callahan, predicts that once the facility is operating at full capacity, the New York recycling plant will be larger than all of its other operations combined.


Tagged categories: Acrylic; Architectural coatings; Business operations; Coating Materials; Coating Materials - Commercial; Coatings; Environmental Control; Environmentally friendly; Good Technical Practice; Government; Latex; NA; North America; Paint; Paint recycling; Paint recycling; PaintCare program; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Recycled building materials

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