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Paint Recycling Rolls Out a Milestone

Friday, August 8, 2014

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Virtually non-existent just five years ago, paint recycling is nearing mainstream status in the United States, as the leading stewardship program hits a major milestone: 1,000 drop-off sites.

Paint cans
© iStock / ozgurdonmaz

The PaintCare Program has surpassed 1,000 drop-off sites across five states. Three more states will roll out the program in the next year.

Created by the American Coatings Association, the PaintCare Program is a nonprofit that operates in five states with 816 retail sites and nearly 200 transfer stations, to ensure proper disposal of post-consumer paint.

Oregon Debut

PaintCare started as a pilot program in Oregon in 2009 when state and local governments passed the first paint stewardship law in the U.S.

The industry-led program was the first to manage post-consumer paint.

Since then, seven more states have passed paint stewardship laws similar to Oregon’s.

In 2013, legislation passed making Oregon’s pilot program a permanent one. Meanwhile, other states that have passed legislation include California (2012), Connecticut (2013), Rhode Island (2014), and Vermont (2014).

Sustainable Sunnyvale

California operates 675 drop-off sites in the PaintCare Program like the one shown about at a Kelly Moore paint store in Sunnyvale, CA.

The current stats:

  • California: 675 drop-off sites;
  • Connecticut: 135 drop-off sites;
  • Oregon: 135 drop-off sites;
  • Rhode Island: 21 drop-off sites; and
  • Vermont: 46 drop-off sites.

PaintCare will also be expanding in the above states, along with Minnesota, whose operations are expected to begin in November. Programs in Maine and Colorado are set to begin in July 2015.


The PaintCare Program accepts house paint, primers, stains, sealers and clear coatings. It does not recycle aerosols, solvents or products intended for industrial use.

“Participation by paint retailers in the program has been instrumental to the success of the program – the program wouldn’t be possible without them,” PaintCare Executive Director Marjaneh Zarrerparvar said in a statement.

“From national chains to independent stores across our five active states, we are tremendously grateful for their willingness to serve as public drop-off site.”

Future Sites

PaintCare legislation is being pursued in New Jersey and Massachusetts this year; New York and the District of Columbia have also expressed interest in the program.

ACA says one of its goals is to make the enabling legislation consistent across all states.

This would ensure that program implementation can be nationally coordinated, making it easier for manufacturers and consumers of paint from having differing programs across state lines.


Tagged categories: American Coatings Association (ACA); Paint recycling; PaintCare program

Comment from JIm Quinn, (8/11/2014, 12:41 PM)

Not quite true that paint recycling was "virutally non-existent just five years ago". Thousands of municipal programs have been collecting and recycling paint since the 1980s, the big change here is that the paint industry has stepped up to take responsbility for collecting and managing the leftover paint.

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