MinnesotaMinnesota

Contact: Steve Pincuspy, Minnesota Program Manager, spincuspy@paint.org (612) 719-5216

Contact: Jacob Saffert, Minnesota Program Coordinator, jsaffert@paint.org (612) 772-4902

Drop-Off Sites

It is more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Minnesota. Since the start of the Minnesota paint stewardship program in November 2014, PaintCare has set up 253 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.

woman 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.

Products We Accept

Participating PaintCare drop-off locations accept the following:
  • House paint and primers (latex or oil-based)
  • Stains
  • Deck and concrete sealers
  • Clear finishes (e.g., varnishes, shellac)
The architectural paint products we accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” and must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. PaintCare Products must be in their original container with original manufacturer label and secure lid. PaintCare does not accept spray paint (aerosols) or anything in containers larger than 5 gallons. We cannot accept open or leaking cans. Please review our detailed list of PaintCare Products vs. Non-PaintCare Products.

Fees

PaintCare programs are funded by a fee (referred to as the PaintCare fee) which is applied to the purchase price of new paint sold in the state. The fee is paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers and is then added to the wholesale and retail purchase price of paint, passing the cost of managing post-consumer paint to everyone who buys paint. You may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container of paint you purchase. There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site. The PaintCare fee is not a tax; it does not go to the state to operate the program. The PaintCare fee is also not a deposit; you don’t get it back when you drop off paint–a common misunderstanding. Fees fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. This includes paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage “legacy” paint, material that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started. The fees are based on container size as follows:
Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon $0.49
1 gallon up to 2 gallons $0.99
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.99
 

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.

Contractors

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.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

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:
Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon $0.49
1 gallon up to 2 gallons $0.99
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.99
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 200 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 door-to-door pick-up service that benefits both contractors and our volunteer drop-off sites. This free service is available to households or businesses with at least 200 gallons of paint.

Download/Print

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

Already a Drop-Off Site?

Let your customers know that you are a paint drop-off location!  Visit our Drop-Off Site Promotion Toolkit for artwork for digital advertising, social media, or print advertising. You can also order free point-of-sale (POS) materials or signage for your business or organization. Retailer Drop-Off Site Training & Guidelines (updated 2017) is a reference document providing an overview of how the PaintCare Minnesota program works, as well as guidelines and requirements for paint retailers who serve as drop-off sites. As explained in this document, retail 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:
  • Employee training logs for the PaintCare program. Download the training log here.
  • Shipping documents provided to the retailer by PaintCare’s contracted transporter.
  • 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:
Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon $0.49
1 gallon up to 2 gallons $0.99
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.99
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 Your Customers

Brochures and other printed materials are available to retailers and facilities at no charge. Order additional materials online, or place an order by calling PaintCare at (855) 724-6809 or by sending a completed form by email, fax, or regular mail. The following materials are available:

Publications for Your Employees

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.

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.

Infographic Summary of 2019 Minnesota Annual Report

This one-page infographic (8.5″x11″) highlights the successes from the most recent reporting period for the Minnesota PaintCare Program (July 2018 to June 2019). Please consider downloading and printing a copy of the infographic and then posting it for staff and the public at your business or organization.

Annual Reports

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.

Program Plan

This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities for the Minnesota Paint Stewardship Program.

Law

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

Evaluation Reports by Product Stewardship Institute

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: