Minnesota

Contact: Steve Pincuspy, Minnesota Program Manager, (612) 719-5216

Drop-Off Sites

>> Find a PaintCare drop-off location

It is more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Minnesota. Since the start of the Minnesota paint stewardship program on November 1, 2014, PaintCare has set up 257 drop-off sites where the public can take unwanted, leftover paint for recycling. These sites are at paint retailers (paint and hardware stores) and county household hazardous waste facilities that have volunteered to take back paint, and they are available to any household and most businesses in Minnesota. These locations accept paint whenever they are open for business.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

A few restrictions apply. There are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit. Each drop-off site sets a limit and it is usually 5 gallons (some accept more). Businesses that produce less than 220 pounds (about 20 gallons) of hazardous waste per month are known as Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs). VSQGs can use the program for any amount latex paint, but they can only drop off up to 20 gallons oil-based paint if they certify their status as a VSQG, in compliance with requirements of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Businesses that generate more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month can only drop off latex paint. When you decide it’s time to recycle your paint, please call your 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 “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.

Fees

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, real estate agents, property managers, and painting contractors, others are welcome to order brochures and distribute them to their customers. The brochures are now available in Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

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.

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:

$ 0.00Half 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. Businesses 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. Some businesses may also have more total accumulated paint (water and oil-based) than an individual retail drop-off site can handle (most of these sites limit customers to 5 gallons per day). In these cases, businesses should contact the store ahead of time to see if they are able to accept more paint, or contact the nearest county household hazardous waste facility that will accept business paint waste. To find a county that accepts business paint waste, use the links below:

If you have 300 gallons or more of total accumulated paint, please see the section below on Large Volume Pickups for direct collection options from your business.

*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 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) 
LVP Form (PDF) 

Download/Print

Information for painting contractors is available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.

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.

  • Digital Banners for Your Website. These digital banner ads are ready to use on your website to promote that you are a PaintCare location.
  • Signs for your Drop-Off Location. These signs or counter mats are available to order via our Online Sign Order Form.
    To order by mail or fax, click here.
  • Connect on Social Media: “Like” or “Friend” us on Facebook.
  • Retailers who are drop off sites must maintain required records for three years. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the state oversight agency, has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. Specifically, drop off sites must provide access to the following records:
    1. Employee training logs for the PaintCare program. Download the training log here.
    2. Shipping documents provided to the retailer by PaintCare’s contracted transporter.
    3. VSQG logbooks for businesses dropping off oil-based paints. To obtain a logbook, please contact spincuspy@paint.org.

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 Minnesota Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers of paint to (a) include the PaintCare Fee in the retail price of program products and (b) only sell products registered with the program. More details are provided here:

a. Add PaintCare 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 their consumers. Fees are by 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
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.

Publications for You and 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

Fact Sheet: How to Become a Drop-Off Site. 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.

Newsletter

Our newsletter is emailed to retailers to provide updates and tips about the program. Sign up to receive the newsletter here (www.paintcare.org/newsletters). Previous issues are listed below.

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 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 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-owned satellite locations (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:

Signs

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

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.

Program Plan

PaintCare’s program plan for Minnesota was approved on July 20, 2015 This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities for the Minnesota Paint Stewardship Program.

Annual Report

PaintCare prepares an annual report for the 12 months ending June 30. The first report for Minnesota covers 8 months because the program started in November 2014.

  • Annual Report 2015  (November – June 2015)
  • Click here to view an infographic summary of the 2015 Minnesota Annual Report.
  • On January 8, 2016, PaintCare hosted a public webinar to review its first Annual Report and to provide an update on program activities. A recording of the webinar is available here, and slides from the presentation can be downloaded here.

Law

The Minnesota paint stewardship program is required by Minnesota Paint Product Stewardship Law (2013).

State Agency

The oversight agency for the Minnesota paint stewardship program is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Sales Tax

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has provided an explanation of why the PaintCare Fee is subject to state sales tax in the following letter: