Contact: Kevin Lynch, Colorado Program Manager, (720) 481-8858

Paint-Only Event

PaintCare is planning special one-day paint drop-off events in some parts of Colorado. These events are open to households and businesses (painting contractors, property managers, etc.) from anyplace in Colorado. Our first event is:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Drop-Off Sites

>> Find a PaintCare drop-off location

It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Colorado. Since the start of the Colorado paint stewardship program on July 1, 2015, PaintCare has set up 145 drop-off sites in Colorado and we expect to have more than 150 sites by the end of our first year of operations (June 2016). 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 household and business in Colorado. These stores accept paint whenever they are open for business.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

A number of PaintCare drop-off sites will be 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 households in 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 at these government programs. Businesses that use these programs are allowed to drop off paint for no charge or only a small administrative fee from the government agency, 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, 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 “PaintCare 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 an original printed 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:

$ 0.00Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.751 gallon
$ 1.60Larger than 1 gallon up 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.

Professional painting contractors are one of the groups that are 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 that are now available from PaintCare.

Fees and Funding

As required by state law, a paint stewardship assessment (“PaintCare Fee”) is 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:

$ 0.00Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.751 gallon
$ 1.60Larger than 1 gallon up 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 households or businesses with at least 300 gallons of paint. To learn more, please review the following fact sheet. Then call PaintCare — or fill out and submit the form below — to request an appointment.

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

LVP Fact Sheet Also in Spanish

LVP Form to Request a Pick Up

Please use our new online form to request a pick up. Must be a minimum of 300 gallons.

LVP Form (Online)

You can also use the excel or PDF versions of the form and send by e-mail, fax or regular mail:

LVP Form (Excel) Also in Spanish
LVP Form (PDF) Also in Spanish


Information for painting contractors is available below.

Already a Drop-Off Site?

Let your customers know you are a drop-off site with these website banner ads and in-store signs. Digital banners and signs are available without charge to paint retailers that serve as PaintCare drop-off locations.

Not a drop-off site, but are interested in becoming one? Please see the information in the Partnering with PaintCare section at the bottom of this page.

Responsibilities of All Retailers

The Colorado Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers of paint to include the PaintCare Fee in the sale price of program products and only sell products registered with the program starting on July 1, 2015. (Retailers may also volunteer to become a drop-off site – see fact sheet below). More details are provided here:

a. Add Assessment Fee: Manufacturers must add the PaintCare Fees to their wholesale price of each container of paint. Retailers must ensure these fees are passed down to the consumer. Fees are by container size and are as follows in current states:

$ 0.00Half pint or smaller
$ 0.35Larger than half pint to smaller than 1 gallon
$ 0.751 gallon
$ 1.60Larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons

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 these lists, please contact PaintCare at (855) 724-6809.

c. Provide information to the public about the fees and how to recycle paint. PaintCare provided a “starter pack” of brochures and other print materials to retailers prior to the start of the program. Additional materials may be ordered for no charge at any time. (See below for order form.)

Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets are available from PaintCare for your staff and your customers.

Publications for your customers

Brochures and other printed materials are available to retailers and facilities at no charge. To order additional materials please contact PaintCare by phone or send in a completed form by email, fax or regular mail.

The following materials are available:

Partnering with PaintCare to be a Drop-Off Site

How to Become a Drop-Off Site Fact Sheet. Explains the responsibilities for paint retailers that volunteer to take back leftover paint from the public.
click to play video
click to play video

Retailers may volunteer to be a paint drop-off site and accept paint from households and certain businesses in their community. To learn more about what is involved in becoming a drop-off site, please read the above fact sheet. If you would like to be a drop-off site, please fill out our Online Retailer Interest Form (or use the Word or PDF version and send by email, fax or regular mail).


Our Colorado Newsletter is emailed every 2-3 months retailers to provide updates and tips about the program. Sign up to receive the newsletter here. Previous Newsletters

Stakeholder Meetings

PaintCare gave a presentation on October 21 at the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) annual meeting, in Commerce City, CO. The presentation provided updates on the implementation and progress of the program. Slides from the presentation are available here:

Partner with PaintCare

PaintCare welcomes partnerships with municipal agencies, especially those that operate household hazardous waste collection programs, transfer stations, recycling facilities, and landfills. 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 fact sheets and interest forms. 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 additional 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 (Reuse Program), and transportation from municipal satellite sites (e.g., landfills) to a main site. Read more about becoming a PaintCare drop-off location:

Watch our video about becoming a PaintCare drop-off location:

To request a copy of PaintCare’s standard agreement for municipal agencies, please contact Colorado Program Manager Kevin Lynch at or 720-481-8858.


If you are already a PaintCare partner you can order PaintCare signs for your location, click here for a Sign Order Form.

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 fact sheet.

Reuse Pricing

PaintCare encourages household hazardous waste programs, reuse stores and others to operate paint reuse programs (i.e., swap shops or exchanges). Reuse programs return good quality unused paint to the local community at low or no cost. Reuse is a preferred method of waste management. To encourage reuse, PaintCare will compensate paint drop-off sites operating a reuse program under a contract with PaintCare. PaintCare allows two different reporting methods by container or by volume as described here.

Link to Our Website

Link Suggestion File Thumbnail

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

  • Suggestions on How to Link to PaintCare PDF. Also available in Word

Program Plan

PaintCare’s plan for Colorado was approved in June 2014. This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities proposed for the Colorado Paint Stewardship Program

Annual Report

PaintCare prepares an annual report for the 12 months ending December 31. The first report for Colorado covers 6 months because the program started in July 2015.


The Colorado paint stewardship program is required by the Colorado Paint Product Stewardship Act (SB 14-029), signed by Gov. Hickenlooper on June 6, 2014.

State Agency

The state oversight agency for the Colorado paint stewardship program is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).