For People with Paint
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 650 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.
A 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.
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.
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 Service Fact Sheet
Find out how the service works and how to request a pick-up. Also available in Spanish
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
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
There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site. PaintCare is funded by the “PaintCare Recovery 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!
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|
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, real estate agents, property managers, and painting contractors, and others are welcome to order brochures and distribute them to their customers.
Fact Sheet for Trade Painters
Professional painting contractors are one of the groups most affected by PaintCare. If you are a painting contractor, please review this fact sheet to learn more about PaintCare, the fees, and paint recycling services available from PaintCare.
For Paint 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 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following materials are available:
- Program Brochure (“Recycle with PaintCare”) Also available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Russian.
- Fact Sheet for Trade Painters Also available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Russian.
- Mini Card (Find a paint drop-off site) Also available in Spanish.
- 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.
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.
- Assessment Fee, Frequently Asked Questions Answers to common questions from retailers about fees.
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.
- Retailer Fact Sheet: How to Become a Paint Drop-Off Site
- Retail Drop-Off Site Interest Form (Word) Also available as PDF .
- Watch our Retailer Drop-Off Site Video to learn more.
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.
- Drop-off Site Poster (place at store entrance to inform people that your store is a drop-off site) Also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish
- Program Products Poster (place near your collection bins to help staff know what is acceptable)
- CESQG Log (confirm that a business that drops off paint qualifies to use the program)
- Staff Training Log (record employee training in program guidelines)
Signup for our California Newsletter (emailed every two months).
California Staff ContactsCaitlin Sanders California Program Manager (415) 590-0259 email@example.com Daria Kent Northern California Regional Coordinator Daria’s region consists of the northern counties as far south as Marin, Solano, Sacramento, and El Dorado Counties. (530) 559-3274 firstname.lastname@example.org Terri Ryan Central California Regional Coordinator Terri’s region covers as far north as San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Amador, and Alpine Counties. Her region goes as far south as Monterey, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo Counties. (209) 404-8625 email@example.com Brandon Nelson-Zarrahy Southern California Regional Coordinator Brandon’s region consists of San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angles Counties. (818) 900-8117 firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Lynch Southern California Regional Coordinator Kevin’s region consists of San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. (949) 415-9719 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-590-0259.
If you operate a transfer station, please see the following fact sheet and interest form:
Program Plan and Annual Report
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):
- PaintCare held a webinar on October 17, 2013 to review the Annual Report for Year 1. For those wishing to view the presentation, please see Presentation Slides.
Paint Stewardship Law
California’s PaintCare Program is a result of Assembly Bill 1343 (Huffman), passed in 2010. The legislation is clarified through California regulations.
The California Board of Equalization (BOE) has provided an explanation of why the PaintCare Recover Fee is subject to state sales tax in the following letter:
- BOE Letter regarding California Sales Tax (February 13, 2013)
The state oversight agency for the California paint stewardship program is the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
- CalRecycle’s email: email@example.com