California Program


  1. Consumers of Paint - Find a Drop-off Site
  2. Retailers of Paint – for All Retailers
  3. Retailers of Paint – for Drop-Off Sites
  4. Manufacturers of Paint and Coatings
  5. HHW Programs and Transfer Stations
  6. Law, Regulations & Oversight Agency
  7. Program Plan and Annual Report



1. Consumers of Paint - Find a Drop-Off Site

Drop-off Sites

PaintCare Inc. a non-profit organization established by the American Coatings Association to implement California’s Paint Stewardship Law has set up more than 500 drop-off sites for postconsumer (leftover) paint at retailers and other sites throughout California. We will continue to set up additional sites throughout California. To find a paint drop-off location near you, please use our locator tool from the upper left corner of the screen. Please call the site ahead of time to make sure they are able to accept your amount of paint.

Find a drop-off site for your paint

What Paint Products are Accepted?

PaintCare "Program Products" include interior and exterior architectural coatings sold in containers of 5 gallons or less. In general we accept all house paint and primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (such as shellac and varnish) but we do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. Please consult the following detailed list to find out what can be accepted, prior to dropping off your paint:

Large Volume Pick-Up Service or “LVP”

If you have large volumes of unwanted paint, PaintCare now offers a service that benefits both you and our volunteer drop-off sites - you don’t have to take your paint to a drop-off site a little at a time and they don’t get overwhelmed with large loads of paint. This free service is available to residents or businesses with at least 300 gallons of paint.

Use either of these forms to request a large volume pick up:

  • LVP Form: (Excel ) This version is a spreadsheet that calculates your totals. Send it in by email, or print it out and send by fax or regular mail.
  • LVP Form (PDF) This version can be used if you don’t have Excel software. Just print it out and send by fax or regular mail.


To fund this program, PaintCare Recovery Fees are added to the purchase price of architectural paints and coatings sold in California. The fees are paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers, then passed down to retailers and eventually to consumers. When you buy paint in California, you may see a line item called “PaintCare Recovery Fee” on your receipt or invoice for each container of Program Products. These fees are used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program, including postconsumer paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration. Fees are by size and apply to each container as follows:

Half pint or less   $ 0.00
More than half pint to less than 1 gallon   $ 0.35
1 gallon   $ 0.75
More than 1 gallon to 5 gallons   $ 1.60


The following documents provide additional information about the PaintCare program:

  • Trade Painter Factsheet (What Trade Painters Need to Know). This factsheet explains the program with details of particular interest to painting contractors. It is also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish (click language for PDF).


2. Retailers of Paint – Information for All Retailers

Responsibilities of All Retailers

The California Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers of paint to (a) include the PaintCare Recovery Fee in the sale price of program products, (b) only sell products registered with the program, and (c) maintain certain records for three years. More details are provided here:

a. Add Assessment Fee: Manufacturers must add the PaintCare Recovery Fees (see fee schedule above) to their wholesale price of each container of paint. Retailers must ensure these fees are passed down to the consumer.

b. Sell Registered Brands: Retailers must make sure they do not sell unregistered architectural paint brands. Retailers can verify the registration of manufacturers and brands using the following lists which are updated regularly. If you are a retailer and do not see a manufacturer or brand of paint sold in your store on this list, please contact PaintCare at (855) 726-6809.

c. Maintain Required Records. Retailers must maintain required records. CalRecycle, the state oversight agency, has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. Records must be retained by retailers for three years. Specifically, retailers must provide access to records on all architectural paint sold or offered for sale in California including: (a) the manufacturer of the paint; (b) The date(s) the retailer purchased the paint from the manufacturer; and (c) The date(s) the retailer sold the paint. CalRecycle does not specify the form or method of documentation; retailers may maintain this information in any way they believe will verify compliance in the event of a review by CalRecycle. CalRecycle may use a variety of mechanisms to verify retailer compliance, including, but not limited to program awareness, physical inspection, product review, and inspection of records as noted above. CalRecycle has stated that it takes a progressive enforcement approach, with education being the first step in the case of non-compliance. If you have additional questions about this requirement, please contact CalRecycle via email to

Printed Materials for All Retailers

Point-of-Sale (POS) Materials (print-based copies available in bundles of 50 each) are available to retailers and facilities at no charge. California paint retailers were mailed a starting packet of Program Brochures and Mini Cards prior to the California program launch. To order additional quantities please fill out the POS Order Form. If you are interested in jointly developing print based materials (“co-branding”) so that materials have both your logo and PaintCare’s logo, please contact PaintCare's creative director, Caroline Chase, at or check the co-branding box on the POS Order Form.

The following materials can be ordered using the POS Order Form or by sending an email with contact information and quantity requested to

  • General Poster for Retailers This poster is intended for use in stores in the paint department or near the cash registers to help explain the PaintCare program and Recovery Fees to customers.

Downloadable Publications for All Retailers

The following materials in PDF format are available for downloading:

  • Retailer Factsheet (General Program Information) This factsheet was mailed to all paint retailers in California to inform them of their responsibilities under the paint stewardship program. It is also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish (click language for PDF).
  • Trade Painter Factsheet (What Trade Painters Need to Know) This factsheet was developed at the request of retailers to help explain the program to their customers who are painting contracators. Some retailers have found it useful to send this with to regular customers with monthly statements. It is also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish (click language for PDF). English versions in additional sizes are also available for download: Full Page, 3 Per Page, 1/3 Page.
  • Program Brochure (Recycle with PaintCare) This is PaintCare’s basic information brochure intended for the general public. It is also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish (click language for PDF).



3. Retailers of Paint – Information for Drop-Off Sites

Partnering with PaintCare to be a Drop-Off Site

Retailers may volunteer to be a paint drop-off site and accept paint from residents and certain businesses in their community. To learn more about what is involved in becoming a drop-off site, please read the following factsheet. If you would like to be a drop-off site, please fill out and send us the Interest Form.

Drop-Off Site Materials

PaintCare provides the following materials to drop-off sites as part of their training. Updates are made to these materials from time to time, and may be downloaded as needed.


4. Manufacturers of Paint and Coatings

Registering Your Company and Products

Manufacturers of architectural coatings will fulfill obligations of the California Paint Stewardship law if they participate in the PaintCare Program. The PaintCare program is funded by a per-container assessment fee (“PaintCare Recovery Fee”) paid by architectural paint manufacturers to PaintCare based on their sales in California. The fees fund all aspects of the required program. The following documents provide additional information of interest to manufacturers about the California Paint Stewardship Law and PaintCare program:

Lists of Manufacturers and Brands

PaintCare maintains a list of registered manufacturers and brands. Brands not registered with the PaintCare program may not be sold in California. Retailers use these lists to verify that they are only selling registered architectural coatings. CalRecycle uses these lists to conduct compliance audits and enforcement.


To register your company and paint brands with PaintCare, please fill out the following form and return as instructed. Following submittal of the form, PaintCare will update the lists of registered manufacturers and brands and provide the update to CalRecycle. Later, you will also receive a response from PaintCare with information on how to establish a confidential on-line profile for reporting your sales and remitting fees.

Remitter Agreements

Agreements may be used to transfer the payment function from the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer. The following factsheet explains why an agreement may be helpful in a complex distribution. It also explains how and under what circumstances a Remitter Agreement may be used. There are two types of Remitter Agreements - one that moves the reporting and fee remittance function from a manufacturer to a retailer or distributor, and one that moves it from the distributor to a retailer – both are provided below.


5. HHW Programs and Transfer Stations

Partnering with PaintCare

PaintCare welcomes partnerships with municipal agencies, especially those that operate household hazardous waste collection programs, landfills and transfer stations. PaintCare covers the municipal partner's cost of paint storage bins, paint transportation and recycling, and public outreach and education. There is no monetary compensation for operations or labor costs associated with serving as a drop-off site.

For municipal agencies that wish to offer services to PaintCare other than serving solely as a drop-off site, (e.g., reprocessing paint on site), monetary compensation may be negotiated. These services include reprocessing paint at your site, bulking paint in situations where storage space is limited, offering usable paint in original containers to the public (“Waste Exchange”), and transportation from your own satellite sites to a main site.

To request a copy of PaintCare's standard agreement for municipal agencies, please contact California Program Manager Caitlin Sanders at or 415-590-0259.

Transfer Stations

PaintCare welcomes partnerships with transfer stations. PaintCare covers the cost of paint storage bins, paint transportation and recycling, and public outreach and education. There is no monetary compensation for operations or labor costs associated with serving as a drop-off site. To learn more, please see the following factsheet and interest form:


6. Law, Regulations & Oversight Agency

California's PaintCare Program is a result of Assembly Bill 1343 (Huffman), passed in 2010. The legislation is clarified through California regulations. CalRecycle (California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery) is the agency overseeing implementation of the law:

Many people have asked why the PaintCare Recovery Fee is subject to California Sales Tax. The California Board of Equalization has provided an explanation in the following letter:


7. Program Plan and Annual Report

PaintCare's Program Plan provides details on how postconsumer paint is to be collected, transported, recycled and processed at its end-of-life, as well as how public education and outreach will be used to promote proper purchasing, using up remaining paint, and properly recycling or disposing of unwanted paint. CalRecycle approved the revised version of the plan in July 2012.

PaintCare submits an Annual Report to CalRecycle summarizing the drop-off site infrastructure, collection volumes and other activities of the previous reporting year. PaintCare submitted its first Annual Report for the period October 19, 2012 – June 30, 2013 as required on October 1, 2013. Following feedback from CalRecycle, a revised Annual Report was submitted on January 5, 2014.