PaintCare Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to represent paint manufacturers (paint producers) to plan and operate paint stewardship programs in the United States in those states that pass paint stewardship laws.
PaintCare was created by the American Coatings Association, a membership-based trade association of the paint manufacturing industry. Working with state and local government stakeholders, ACA passed the first paint stewardship law in the United States in Oregon in 2009. This legislation resulted in a pilot program for an industry-led program to manage postconsumer (leftover) paint.
Since then, seven more states and the District of Columbia have passed paint stewardship laws similar to the one in Oregon, and the program in Oregon is no longer a pilot program; legislation passed in 2013 made the Oregon pilot program into a permanent one.
PaintCare has programs in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont and is planning programs for Maine and the District of Columbia. We expect similar legislation to be introduced in several other states in the next few years.
Prior to PaintCare, the best options for households to recycle or dispose of unwanted paint were government-run household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities and special one-day “round-up” events with limited days, hours and locations. In states with PaintCare, many new paint drop-off locations are established. Most PaintCare locations are at paint retailers who volunteer to take back paint. These retailers take back paint during regular business hours making paint recycling and disposal much more convenient for the public.
In parts of the United States where PaintCare has programs and where people were previously instructed to dry out old latex paint and put it in the trash, we now encourage people to take it to a PaintCare drop-off site so we can sort it and recycle it. Postconsumer paint can be collected for reuse, recycling, energy recovery, or safe disposal, but doing so requires public awareness and a convenient and effective infrastructure that exceeds local government budgets and capacity in many parts of the country.
The paint manufacturing industry supported the laws passed in these eight states and will support additional legislation because these laws enable the paint industry to implement a collection program by providing a level playing field among manufacturers and retailers. These laws also provide a sustainable financing system and an anti-trust exemption for activities required to run a successful program.
The program is funded through fees on each container of architectural paint sold in states with paint stewardship programs. Budgets and fees are set on a state-by-state basis. So far these fees have been the same in each state with a program: 35 cents, 75 cents or $1.60 per container, depending on the container size.
American Coatings Association
The American Coatings Association (ACA) is a non-profit industry trade association advancing the needs of the paint and coatings industry through advocacy and programs that support environmental protection, product stewardship, health, safety, and the advancement of science and technology.
Product Stewardship Institute
The Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the health and environmental impacts of consumer products. Founded in 2000, PSI brings together key stakeholders with varying interests to develop product end-of-life solutions in a collaborative manner, with a focus on having manufacturers assume primary financial and managerial responsibility. With a robust membership base of 47 state governments and 250 local governments, as well as partnerships with over 90 companies, organizations, and non-U.S. governments, PSI advances both voluntary programs and legislation to promote industry-led product stewardship initiatives.
PaintCare Inc., 1500 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20005
HOTLINE (855) 724-6809
FAX (855) 385-2020
Administration, Legal, and Finance
Where can I take my leftover paint?
In PaintCare States, there is probably a drop-off site near you. Use our Site Locator to find sites in your area. In other states, our locator will list your nearest local household hazardous waste program.
What are the fees?
PaintCare Fees are applied to the purchase price of paint in every PaintCare State. Currently, the fees are the same in all states and they are based on the size of the container as follows:
|$0.00||Half pint or smaller|
|$0.35||Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon|
|$1.60||Larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons|
How are fees calculated ?
Fees are set to cover the cost of a fully operating program on a state-by-state basis. First, PaintCare estimates the total expenses to run the program in each state. Next, we estimate the annual paint sales in each state for each size container. Next we divide the estimated total expenses of the program by the number of containers to be sold in the state ─ taking into account each size container. Since PaintCare is a non-profit organization, the fees may be decreased in the future if they were set at a level higher than what is needed to cover expenses, or fees may be increased if they were set too low and do not cover expenses.
Does it cost me to take back paint?
No, there is no charge for dropping off your paint.
Do I get my fee back? Is it a deposit?
No, the fee is not a deposit. Fees are used entirely to cover the expenses of running the program and not given back as a deposit for the return of paint or empty paint cans.
Do all retailers take back paint?
No. Retailers who are serving as PaintCare drop-off sites are volunteers. Not all stores have enough storage space or staff to be drop-off sites. Typically, about twenty percent of paint retailers in any state participate. If you know of a store near you that would like to be a PaintCare drop-off site, ask the manager to contact PaintCare. We’re always interested in adding more drop-off sites.
What happens to the paint?
The paint you drop off is packed into larger containers (boxes or drums) by the staff at the drop-off sites. One of PaintCare’s hauling companies picks up the paint and takes it to their facility for sorting by type. PaintCare manages the paint according to a policy of “highest, best use.” Our goal is to recycle as much as possible. If the paint is not recyclable into new paint, we find the next best use for it.
Latex paint and other water-based products are separated from oil-based paint and other solvent-based products. Most of the oil-based paint is then taken to a cement plant where it is blended into a fuel and burned to recover the energy value. Most of the better latex paint (paint that is not rusty, molding or spoiled) is sent to recycling companies and reprocessed into new paint in standard pre-tinted colors. Some latex paint is used to make other products or used for biodegradation projects at landfills. Very little paint is sent to a landfill (about 1-4%).
Overall about 1-2% of the paint we receive is simply reused. Some paint is nearly new and in excellent condition and is given away “as is” at some household hazardous waste programs that partner with PaintCare and have reuse programs or “swap shops.” Non-profit ReStores (such as those operated by Habitat for Humanity) that serve as PaintCare drop-off sites also screen out some of the usable paint and sell it in their store.
For Press Inquiries
Contact Paul Fresina at email@example.com or (415) 606-3211.
Public Radio Spots
Jobs & RFPs
Request for Proposals (RFPs)
The PaintCare team is working hard to make recycling paint easy. We are looking for talented individuals to be part of our enthusiastic team in advancing effective paint recycling in states that have adopted paint stewardship laws. We are currently recruiting for the following positions:
PaintCare Southeast Regional Coordinator for California
PaintCare seeks a qualified candidate to assist with growing and maintaining the paint stewardship program in California. This position will be located in Southeastern California and will coordinate the recruitment, contracting and maintenance of PaintCare drop-off sites in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and Imperial Counties and other surrounding areas as needed.
- Meet and communicate with paint retail stores, municipal household hazardous waste (HHW) programs and other program stakeholders.
- Recruit sites: Identify potential paint drop-off sites which will include paint retailers, HHW facilities, solid waste transfer stations and landfills. Explain how to become a PaintCare drop-off site, evaluate their suitability for partnering with PaintCare.
- Set up paint drop-off sites: establish contracts, provide training, coordinate with haulers to arrange transportation of paint from site.
- Monitor drop-off site operations: conduct site visits and audits on a regular schedule or as needed/requested, identify problems and implement corrections, maintain successful relationships with site operators.
- Arrange special collection/transportation from temporary events and from painting contractors, property managers, and other large producers of leftover paint.
- Public outreach: distribute public information materials to drop-off sites upon request, including those retailers that are not drop-off sites, assist PaintCare with monitoring use and usability of materials by sites.
- Recordkeeping: maintain computer database of drop-off site information, generate reports as needed.
- Analyze data and write reports for PaintCare and state agencies.
- Make presentations to small and large groups (e.g., home shows, conferences, trade associations).
- Report to West Coast Program Manager.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications
- Experience with and/or knowledge of hazardous materials, hazardous waste management and programs, hazardous waste laws and regulations, HHW programs, state environmental agencies, hazardous materials/waste storage requirements, hazardous waste transportation and processing.
- Experience with and/or knowledge of retail operations, infrastructure and communications, including big box, chain, franchise, co-op, and independent stores.
- Familiarity with paint products.
- Familiarity and comfort with users of paint, particularly trade painters, contractors, paint retailers and property managers.
- Experience with public speaking, training and/or making presentations.
- Experience with and/or knowledge of product stewardship programs, laws and organizations.
- Ability to work independently from home.
- Willingness to travel extensively within the region to recruit sites, train retail staff, and distribute outreach materials. Occasional travel to San Francisco, Washington D.C. and other locations in the US for trainings, conferences, or meetings.
- Proficiency with computers and typical office software.
- Valid state driver’s license.
Location & Travel
This position is located in California. The employee will work from home. The ideal candidate will be in close proximity to either Orange County or San Diego. Extensive travel throughout the State may be required to visit drop-off sites and meet with government agency staff. Travel time will vary and may exceed 50% of the time.
Salary & Benefits
This is a full time, regular position. Salary depends on experience; PaintCare, through the ACA, provides generous benefits [401(k), vacation days, medical, dental, and life insurance] and reimbursement for travel expenses.
To apply for this position, please email cover letter, resume, and salary requirements in one document to firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate “CA Southeast Regional Coordinator — PaintCare” in email subject line.
Social Media & Business Writer
PaintCare is looking for a writer to join its communications team to work on a variety of writing projects focusing on paint recycling in eight states and DC. The qualified individual will build the organization’s social media presence, write content for print and digital marketing materials (e.g., brochures, advertisements), and contribute to the development of reports and other communications activities for key stakeholders. The position requires someone who is a quick learner with strong writing skills, editing skills, and creativity.
- Write, edit, and proofread content for a variety of print and online materials ‐‐ everything from Facebook posts to annual reports. Other projects include advertising copy, brochures, factsheets, case studies, press releases, presentations, guidelines, and procedures.
- Develop a social media plan that promotes paint recycling.
- Write and post engaging content on daily basis; respond to public posts on social media.
- Optimize all social media platforms to ensure PaintCare’s visibility.
- Suggest graphics, photographs, and videos to be produced in house and used in print and social media projects.
- Truly enjoys writing; able to write in different styles and tones depending on audience.
- Proficient in the use of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or other social media platforms.
- Experience incorporating visual elements (e.g., photography, graphics) into social media and print communications.
- Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office; expert in formatting tables and large documents in Word.
- Interest in the paint industry and/or environmental issues.
Desired Skills & Experience
- Working knowledge of established broadcast, digital, and print marketing communications channels.
- Experienced with social media management and analytics tools.
- Prior experience as a social media manager.
- Detail‐oriented with good multitasking ability.
- Collaborative approach to work; willingness to readily collaborate with non‐communications professionals (e.g., field staff).
Location & Travel
This job is located in Washington, DC and requires occasional travel.
Salary & Benefits
This is a full‐time, regular position. Salary depends on experience; PaintCare, through the ACA, provides excellent benefits [401(k), vacation days, medical, dental, and life insurance] and reimbursement for travel expenses.
To apply for this position, please email cover letter, resume, and salary requirements in one document (e.g., PDF) to email@example.com. Indicate “Social Media & Business Writer – your name” in the email subject line. If you have a website or online portfolio, please provide a link to it in your cover letter. Writing samples may also be included in the attachment.
PaintCare seeks a qualified candidate to join its Communications team and work on a variety of outreach projects. The position requires someone who is multi-talented, creative, detail-oriented with a variety of visual and technical skills and is an excellent communicator in writing, verbally, and visually.
- Design a variety of creative projects, including brochures, posters, billboards, advertisements, signs, icon symbols and digital assets
- Layout, resize, and proofread advertisements and print materials
- Brainstorm with Creative Director and design team to plan and develop ideas for future outreach materials
- Photograph images for use by organization and external partners – including styling, prop production, lighting, photographing, editing and file preparation
- Research, write, edit, and proofread content for print materials, website and social media
- Design and prepare files for print
- Organize and improve filing system for digital assets including images, templates, drafts and managing multiple versions
- Write creative briefs, proposals, and radio scripts, storyboards, project descriptions
- Proficient in the use of Adobe Creative Suite
- Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office
- 3-5 years in graphic design and/or media production (or degree in art, design or related field)
- Expertise in information architecture, information design, layout, and typography
- Strong photography skills, experience with studio lighting, styling, and product/portrait photography
- Interest in or experience with the paint industry or the environmental field
- Prop-creation – trimming, mounting, and painting
Location and Travel
This job is located in Washington, DC and requires occasional travel.
Salary and Benefits
This is a full-time, regular position. Salary depends on experience; PaintCare, through the ACA, provides excellent benefits [401(k), vacation days, medical, dental, and life insurance] and reimbursement for travel expenses.
To apply for this position, please email cover letter, resume, and salary requirements in one document to firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate “Graphic Designer – your name” in the email subject line. If you have a website or online portfolio, please provide a link to it in your cover letter.
RFP: Conducting a Source Reduction Study
PaintCare and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) are soliciting proposals from qualified consultants to conduct a study on the measurement of, and strategies for, reducing the generation of post-consumer paint (i.e., all architectural paint that is not used after purchase and no longer wanted, or “leftover” paint). The results of the study will enable PaintCare to establish a baseline and measure progress toward post-consumer paint source reduction.
The goal of the project is to develop a methodology to measure the generation of post-consumer paint, describe reasons why paint is left over, recommend strategies for reducing the generation of paint waste, and recommend annual goals for the reduction of post-consumer paint.
Any consultants with relevant skills and prior work experience are eligible to apply. Applicants will be evaluated on clarity and efficacy of the approach to achieve objectives, and thoroughness of the proposed scope of work. Proposals of up to $50,000 will be accepted.
PaintCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for the environmentally sound management of post-consumer architectural paint collected in states with paint stewardship legislation. As a stewardship organization, PaintCare also conducts public outreach to promote paint source reduction (“Buy Right”), reuse, and recycling.
View the complete RFP for complete guidelines and application instructions.
RFP: Conducting a Public Awareness Survey
To evaluate public awareness of the architectural paint stewardship program in Oregon, PaintCare and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) are soliciting proposals from qualified parties to develop, conduct, and analyze the results of a survey of Oregon households.
Any consultants with relevant skills and prior work experience are eligible to apply. Applicants will be evaluated on clarity and efficacy of the approach to achieve objectives, and thoroughness of the proposed scope of work.
PaintCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for the environmentally sound management of post-consumer architectural paint collected in states with paint stewardship legislation. Post-consumer paint is any paint that is not used after purchase and no longer wanted, or “leftover” paint. As a stewardship organization, PaintCare also conducts public outreach to promote paint source reduction (“Buy Right”), reuse, and recycling.
View the complete RFP for complete guidelines and application instructions.
In the News
Here are a few news stories about PaintCare:
- July 19. Building Online (Colorado): New Colorado Paint Recycling Program Adds More than 60 New Drop-Off Sites
- July 14. Denver 9News (Colorado): Program Makes Recycling Paint More Convenient
- March 7. Winona News Journal (Minnesota): Merikel Ace Hardware Now Accepting Unwanted Paint
- March 6. Press Release (California): Video Blog Contest
- March 4. Valley Breeze (Rhode Island): Depault’s in Cumberland recycling paint
- November 18. Star Tribune (Minnesota): Retailers collect old paint under new Minnesota recycling program
- November 12. New Haven Register (Connecticut): Connecticut’s paint recycycling program has successful first year
- September 14. Press Release (Vermont): Vermonters embrace new PaintCare recycling program
- August 26. KPIX Consumer Watch (California): California’s Paint Recycling Program Takes Off (Video)
- July 23. Star Tribune (Minnesota): New law shifts paint recycling costs from Minnesota counties to manufacturers
- July 1. New Haven Register (Connecticut): Governor Malloy touts new paint recycling program (Video)
- February 3. Napa Valley Register (California): New Program Lets Residents Recycle Old Paint