Oregonians recycled 610,000 gallons of paint in the second year of their pioneering recycling program—an increase of nearly 30 percent over the program’s first year, officials report.
Oregon’s PaintCare program, developed by the American Coatings Association, was the first statewide paint product stewardship program nationwide and is now being copied by other states.
Photos: PaintCare Inc.
|ACA calls the Oregon PaintCare program a “resounding success,” with about 610,000 gallons recycled in the second year.|
Under the state’s paint recycling legislation, passed in 2009, manufacturers are required to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based architectural paint from consumer and contractor painting projects. In the program’s first year, Oregonians recycled 469,665 gallons of paint.
The program’s second year ended in July, and its latest performance is detailed in a new annual report.
More Sites, Outreach and Surplus
In its second year, the program added 11 collection sites, bringing the total to 102, which includes both municipal and retail outlets.
“Paint recycling is now more convenient throughout the state, particularly in areas where local governments do not offer paint recycling opportunities,” according to the ACA, which represents manufacturers and suppliers.
In addition to covering the operational facets of the program, the annual report contains examples of all of the outreach materials the program used, including earned and purchased media.
Moreover, an independent financial audit of the ACA’s pilot program deemed it to be “financially sound,” with approximately $425,000 in surplus for the year, ACA said.
Paving the Recycling Route
The historic product stewardship legislation was designed to respond to the issue of managing leftover paint—the largest component of local household hazardous-waste collection programs.
PaintCare Inc. was created in 2009 as the non-profit outfit in charge of administering the state-mandated recycling program. The program is funded by paint and coatings manufacturers.
|The program has 102 collection sites statewide, putting a site within 15 miles of about 95% of the state’s residents. Retailers host most of the sites.|
ACA says PaintCare is at the forefront of the producer responsibility movement, in which Oregon is a national leader.
“Producer responsibility means manufacturers take responsibility for reducing the lifecycle impacts of a product, including internalizing the end-of-life management costs, rather than having government set up and fund collection programs for waste products,” ACA said.
Keeping It Going
After PaintCare submitted its inaugural report in 2011, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recommended to the state Legislature that the pilot program be made permanent (the Oregon Legislature only meets once every two years).
“The growth and continued success of the program in its second year should serve to reinforce the urgency with which PaintCare should become a mainstay program in Oregon,” the ACA said.
Legislation in other states will bring PaintCare programs to California beginning Oct. 19, 2012; Connecticut in 2013; and Rhode Island in 2014.
The ACA hopes to implement programs in all interested states and to make PaintCare a model for a national system for managing leftover paint.