Lawmakers in Rhode Island approved legislation establishing the “PaintCare” program for management of unused paint, with the measure expected to get the signature of Gov. Lincoln D. Chaffee.
|Rhode Island lawmakers have approved a leftover architectural paint management program based on the American Coatings Association’s PaintCare model.|
The Rhode Island House of Representatives approved H.B. 7133, “Proper Management of Unused Paint,” on Monday (June 11), with a vote of 60-10, following the state Senate’s earlier passage of a companion bill, the American Coatings Association (ACA) reported.
If enacted, Rhode Island would become the fourth state to adopt the PaintCare paint-management model, following Oregon, California and Connecticut. The program, developed by ACA and paint and coatings manufacturers, got the support of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and several non-governmental organizations, including various paint producers and independent retailers, ACA said.
Under the PaintCare model, manufacturers fund the collection and management of unused architectural paints with an assessment added to the retail sale price of products. The program began operation in Oregon in 2010, and is expected to begin functioning in California in the near future; see Oregon Paint-Recycling Program Reports on First Year and California Enacts Leftover-Paint Management Program.
“This program can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, and make Rhode Island a more environmentally-conscious state,” said Rhode Island Senate Majority Leader and bill sponsor Dominick J. Ruggerio, of Providence.
“As a nation, we have become more and more aware of the need to conserve and reuse and recycle,” Ruggerio said. “We are doing it with paper and plastic and other products. This bill proposes another means to decrease the waste stream and further protect the environment.”
The Program in Action
Paul Fresina, state programs director for PaintCare, said that, assuming the Rhode Island bill is signed by Gov. Chaffee, planning would get under way for operational aspects of the program. Based on experience in Oregon and California, that process could take approximately a year.
Fresina told D+D News that operational aspects of the program can vary by state, depending on state regulations on waste handling and other issues. In California, he said PaintCare is likely to involve established household hazardous waste collection programs, with some additional collection sites at paint retail locations.
In Connecticut and Rhode Island, meanwhile, collection is more likely to be centered at retail locations, he said.
Once established, the program will result in modest additional fees on retail sales of paint. In Oregon, for example, the fees are 35 cents for small containers such as quarts, 75 cents for gallons, and $1.60 for 5-gallon pails. Those fees could be adjusted to reflect operational costs, since PaintCare is a non-profit organization, Fresina said.
The assessment is used to fund paint collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal activities.
Many residential and commercial painting contractors and other painting professionals are able to take advantage of the program, Fresina said. Small and mid-sized painting business would participate in the same way as consumers, while larger contractors would be able to dispose of unused water-based products but not solvent-based paint and coatings.
Programs based on the PaintCare model do not handle high-performance, industrial type coatings products or materials not considered architectural coatings, Fresina said.
More information on PaintCare: www.paintcare.org.
‘Viable Solution’ to Issue of Post-Consumer Paint
In campaigning for adoption of the PaintCare model program in Rhode Island, ACA representatives testified during legislative hearings that coatings manufacturers and the association are “committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint,” which is often the number one product, by volume and cost, coming into hazardous household waste (HHW) programs.
The association also cited “the resounding success” of its PaintCare pilot program in Oregon, as well as the more than decade of success of similar program in Canada.
ACA said it created PaintCare®, a 501(C)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to ensure effective operation and efficient administration of paint product stewardship programs, on behalf of all architectural paint manufacturers in the U.S. The association said PaintCare takes on the responsibility “for ensuring an environmentally sound and cost-effective program by developing and implementing strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint; promoting the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint; and providing for the collection, transport, and processing of post-consumer architectural paint using the hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle, and proper disposal.”
ACA said that of the $3.3 million spent on expenses in the first year of the program in Oregon, 83% went back out to Oregon service providers, both municipal and private, as a direct cost savings to taxpayers. Portland Metro alone reported that the total benefit to the PaintCare program in that region of Oregon was in excess of $1 million, the association said.
Alison Keane, ACA vice president of government affairs, said the association views legislation as being necessary for implementing the program because it provides two necessary elements for the paint industry to institute a product stewardship program.
- A level playing field among all producers and retailers and the need for a sustainable financing system engaging the consumer.
- A sustainable financing system for the program, where all architectural paint manufacturers fund the program through an assessment added to their current price of paint.
“Unless all manufacturers and retailers participate in the program, and participate in a uniform manner, this type of program could lead to competitive advantages and disadvantages within the industry and among producers and retailers,” she said.