PaintCare, Washington, is celebrating 10 years of providing consumer education and recycling opportunities for households, businesses and institutions that purchase paint, stain and varnish for use in their projects and operations. The national nonprofit was created by paint manufacturers to operate paint stewardship programs in states where extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws have passed.
“I am proud of the energy, time and resources that paint manufacturers and the American Coatings Association (ACA) have invested in addressing management of leftover paint, providing a needed service to the public and passing a significant savings to local governments,” remarks ACA President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Doyle.
EPR laws ensure that those involved in the production, sale and use of paint work together to manage the entire product to end of life. The program is funded by a fee on sales of new paint and paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers to operate the program. The fee revenue funds all aspects of the program in each state, including paint collection, transportation, processing and public education.
Oregon passed the nation’s first paint EPR law in July 2009, leading to PaintCare’s establishment that October. Over the past 10 years, PaintCare has launched programs across the country following the passage of similar laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and most recently Washington, where a new program is expected to begin in 2020.
“Leftover paint accounts for a large portion of the material collected by government-run household hazardous waste programs,” says PaintCare President Marjaneh Zarrehparvar. “In addition to reducing the burden on local governments by supporting their paint collection, our network of paint retail sites creates new options for residents, businesses and institutions to dispose of leftover paint responsibly.”
Since 2009, PaintCare has set up 1,765 paint drop-off sites and hosted 206 paint drop-off events. In addition, the organization has provided 3,597 free large volume pickups for customers with 200 gallons of paint or more.
“Our customers participate in PaintCare because keeping millions of gallons of leftover paint out of the landfill is the right thing to do for the environment and paint consumers,” says Steve Dearborn, CEO and president of Miller Paint, Portland, Oregon, and chairman of the PaintCare board of directors. “We have been proud to champion getting this legislation passed and establishing the infrastructure of the program throughout Oregon.”
Most of what PaintCare collects is latex paint that can be remixed into recycled paint by processors, while some is used as fuel or made into other products.