Paint-Only Events

PaintCare is planning the following special one day paint collection event. These events are open to households and businesses (painting contractors, property managers, etc.) in California.

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Saturday, June 13, 2015
San Jose
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Chula Vista

Drop-Off Sites

>> Find a PaintCare drop-off location

It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in California. Since the start of the California paint stewardship program on October 19, 2012, PaintCare has set up 737 drop-off sites in California where the public can take unwanted, leftover paint for recycling. Most of these sites are at paint retailers (paint, hardware, and home improvement stores) that have volunteered to take back paint, and they are available to any resident and business in California. These stores accept paint whenever they are open for business.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware storeA number of PaintCare drop-off sites are household hazardous waste programs — either facilities or “round-up events.” These programs are run by a local county or city government agencies, often in partnership with the local garbage and recycling company or transfer station. In addition to accepting paint, these programs usually accept other non-paint hazardous wastes (e.g., pesticides, solvents). Most of these government programs limit participation to the residents of certain cities or towns. Some of these government programs also allow businesses to make appointments during during special hours. Businesses are usually charged fees for non-paint hazardous waste, and sometimes they are charged an administrative fee to schedule an appointment, but they are not charged for paint, on a per gallon basis, if the agency is a PaintCare partner.

A few restrictions apply: there are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit. Also, note that certain businesses — those that produce more than 220 pounds (about 20-30 gallons) of hazardous waste per month — can only drop off latex paint (they may not drop off oil-based paint).

When you decide it’s time to recycle your paint, please call the site ahead of time to confirm their hours and to make sure they have space to accept the amount of paint you would like to recycle.

>> Find a PaintCare drop-off location

Products We Accept

PaintCare sites accept house paint and primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish), but we do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we accept are referred to as “Program Products” or “architectural paint,” and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size.

Paint must be in its original container and the container must have a label and a secured lid. We cannot accept open or leaking cans. Please review the following detailed list to find out what can be accepted, prior to dropping off your paint.


There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site. PaintCare is funded by the “PaintCare Fee” which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in the state. These fees are paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers, then passed down to retailers and to their customers. When you buy paint, you may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container. The fee is not a deposit — you don’t get it back when you drop off paint — a common misunderstanding.

These fees are used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. Fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage old “legacy” paint — the paint that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started. PaintCare sites accept old paint, even if it is 30 years old!

The fees are based on container size as follows:

$ 0.00 Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35 Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.75 1 gallon
$ 1.60 Larger than 1 gallon to 5 gallons

Program Brochure

PaintCare’s program brochure is intended for the general public. To request free paper copies of this brochure for you or others, please contact us at 855-PAINT09. In addition to paint stores, other organizations (e.g., government agencies, real estate agents, property managers, painting contractors) are welcome to order brochures and distribute to others.

CA Brochure
CA Brochure Chinese
CA Brochure Korean
CA Brochure Spanish
CA Brochure Russian

California Staff Contacts

To get in touch with your local PaintCare representative click here.

Professional painting contractors are one of the groups most affected by PaintCare. If you are a painting contractor, please review the information below to learn more about PaintCare, the fees, and paint recycling services available from PaintCare.

Survey for Painting Contractors

Take our 5-minute survey for contractors.
Let us know about your experience with PaintCare.

Fees and Funding

As required by state law, a paint stewardship assessment (“PaintCare Fee”) must be added by manufacturers to the wholesale price of all architectural paint sold in the state. This fee is paid by manufacturers to PaintCare to fund setting up drop-off sites for leftover, postconsumer paint, and for the transportation, recycling, and proper disposal of that paint. The fees also pay for consumer education and program administrative costs.

The fees are based on container size as follows:

$ 0.00 Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35 Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.75 1 gallon
$ 1.60 Larger than 1 gallon to 5 gallons
Important Note:

It is expected that contractors will pass the fees on to their customers in order to recoup the fees they pay on the product.

When estimating jobs, contractors should take these fees into account by checking with your suppliers to make sure the quotes for paint products include the fees. You should also let your customers know that you will be including these fees in your quotes.

Use of Retail Drop-Off Sites by Businesses

Retail drop-off sites provide a convenient and no cost recycling option for painting contractors and other businesses. Businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste* per month will be able to use these sites to recycle all program products (both water and oil-based) with some restrictions on quantities per month.

Larger businesses (those that generate more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month) may use the drop-off sites for their water-based program products only; they are not able to use the sites for oil-based paint or other solvent-based products.

*220 pounds is about 20-30 gallons of paint. When counting how much hazardous waste you generate in a month, oil-based paint counts (because by law it is a hazardous waste), but latex and other water-based paint does not count toward the 220 pound monthly total.

Large Volume Pick-Up (LVP) Service

If you have a large amount of unwanted paint, PaintCare 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 volumes of paint. This free service is only available to residents or businesses with at least 300 gallons of paint. To learn more, please review the following fact sheet. Then call PaintCare to request an appointment.

Large Volume Pick-up Fact Sheet
Large Volume Pick-Up Service Fact Sheet
Find out how the service works and how to request a pick-up. Also available in Spanish
Large Volume Pick-up Form
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. Also available in Spanish
Large Volume Pick-up Form
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. Also available in Spanish


Information for painting contractors is available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.


California Staff Contacts

To get in touch with your local PaintCare representative click here.

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 to their wholesale price of each container of paint. Retailers must ensure these fees are passed down to their consumers. Fees are by container size as follows:

$ 0.00 Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35 Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.75 1 gallon
$ 1.60 Larger than 1 gallon to 5 gallons

b. Sell Registered Brands: Retailers must make sure that they do not sell unregistered brands of architectural paint. 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 for three years. CalRecycle, the state oversight agency, has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. 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 email CalRecycle at

Publications for Your Customers

Brochures and other printed materials 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 start of the California program. To order additional materials please contact PaintCare by phone or send in a completed Order Form for Brochures and other Printed Materials to

The following materials are available:

Publications for Your Employees

  • Retailer Fact Sheet (General Program Information) This fact sheet 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.

Be a Drop-Off Site

PaintCare retailers are those who volunteer to be a 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 fact sheet. If you are interested in being part of our program, please fill out and send us the Interest Form.

Materials for Our Current Drop-Off Sites

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


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California Staff Contacts

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Daria Kent
Terri Ryan
Brandon Nelson-Zarrahy
Kevin Lynch

Partner 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 agency’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 in addition to serving as a drop-off 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 Exchanges or Swap Shops), 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.

Joint Outreach Projects

Municipalities that have contracts with PaintCare may request partial funding for pre-approved joint outreach activities with PaintCare to promote PaintCare drop-off sites and events. Past projects have included newspaper advertising, direct mail, and radio campaigns. For details, please read the following factsheet.

Transfer Stations

If you operate a transfer station, please see the following fact sheet and interest form:

CUPA Inspections

Working with the CUPA Forum Board, CalRecycle, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), PaintCare has made it easier for sites to participate in the program through the passage of AB 2748. The law repeals the requirement that paint drop-off locations develop a hazardous materials business plan (HMBP) in order to accept paint from the public intended for recycling. Below is a fact sheet to inform CUPA inspectors of the changes in requirements that took effect as of January 1, 2015.

Link to Our Website

Link Suggestion File Thumbnail

At the request of HHW programs in PaintCare states, we developed suggested text and images on what to include when linking to PaintCare’s website.

California Staff Contacts

To get in touch with your local PaintCare representative click here.



California’s PaintCare Program is a result of Assembly Bill 1343 (Huffman), passed in 2010. The legislation is clarified through California regulations.

State Agency

The state oversight agency for the California paint stewardship program is the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

Program Plan

PaintCare’s program plan for California was approved by CalRecycle in July 2012. The original version (March) was revised and resubmitted in June 2012. This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities of the California Paint Stewardship Program:


Each year, PaintCare prepares an annual report for the previous 12 months ending June 30. (The first report is for 8-1/2 months because the program began in October 2012):

Sales Tax

The California Board of Equalization (BOE) has provided an explanation of why the PaintCare Fee is subject to state sales tax in the following letter: