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VT, MN to Hop on Paint Recycling Train

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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Two more states are preparing to join a growing nationwide effort to collect and recycle leftover and unwanted paint.

Minnesota and Vermont have both crafted legislation needed to bring the American Coatings Association’s PaintCare program to their states, according to the ACA.

PaintCare is a model for the "proper and effective management of post-consumer paint," the paint and coatings manufacturers’ industry group said. The model has already been implemented in Oregon, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Washington State is not far behind, as legislation was introduced there in mid-February.

Paint recycling
PaintCare Inc.

The American Coatings Association is working to bring the architectural paint recycling initiative PaintCare to Vermont and Minnesota.

While more committee votes and floor votes are needed in both Minnesota and Vermont before the bills hit the governors’ desks for approval, the ACA appears optimistic, noting that legislation is the first step in the process.

In addition, more states are expected to join the effort this year. ACA believes that legislation will be pursued in Maine, Texas, New York and New Jersey.

Minnesota and Vermont Bills

ACA testified March 5 before the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee and the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, in support of HF 865 and SF 639, Architectural Paint Product Stewardship Program.

Both committees approved the bills, the ACA said.

In addition, the industry group testified Feb. 21 on similar legislation before the Vermont House Natural Resources and Energy Committee in support of Vermont HB 262, "An Act Relating to Establishing a Program for the Collection." The Vermont bill mirrors the legislation passed in the other states as well as the legislation pending in Minnesota.

The Vermont House unanimously approved the bill, 11-0, ACA said.

Program Successes Highlighted

In its testimony in both states, the industry group said it was committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint.

Paint is often the number-one product—by volume and cost—coming into Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) programs.

ACA also pointed to the success of its 2010 PaintCare pilot program in Oregon, as well as the more than decade of success of similar programming in Canada.

“Of the $3.3 million spent on expenses in just the first year of the program in Oregon, 83 percent went back out to Oregon service providers, both municipal and private, as a direct cost savings to taxpayers,” ACA said.

“Portland Metro alone reported that the total benefit of the PaintCare program in that region of Oregon was in excess of $1 million.”

ACA: Legislation Necessary

Taking a legislative approach to the program provides two necessary elements for its success, ACA said.

“These elements are a level playing field among all producers and retailers, and the need for a sustainable financing system engaging the consumer,” the ACA said.

“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.”

“In addition, when it comes to financing a system such as this, competitors cannot agree on the ‘price of products or services’ even for a good cause, without running afoul of anti-trust regulations. This bill ensures a sustainable financing system for the program, where all architectural paint manufacturers selling [paint] will fund the program through an assessment added to their current price of paint.”

As in other states, the Vermont and Minnesota bills specify that the assessment that funds the program must be approved by an independent audit submitted to the state Department of Environment/Environmental Protection and must be set at a rate to cover only the cost to manage and sustain the program.

About PaintCare

The goal of the program is to significantly increase post-consumer architectural paint collection sites and recycling opportunities for residents, small businesses and other generators of post-consumer architectural paint, while providing cost savings to municipal household hazardous waste collection programs.

One of ACA’s goals is to make regulation consistent across all states, so that program implementation can be nationally coordinated and manufacturers and consumers of paint do not have differing programs across state lines, ACA said.

   

Tagged categories: Associations; Coatings manufacturers; Environmental Protection; Government; Paint disposal; Paint recycling; Regulations

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