it Forward

Covering it All

Paint Over The Years

Have You Been Saving Extra House Paint for Years?

It happens to all of us. You finish fixing up a room, and you have some extra paint when you are done. That’s great. You probably wanted to save some for touchups, so you put it in storage.

It Starts Little by Little.

A half gallon from the living room, an unused gallon of the wrong color for the kitchen, and some extra that you got on sale and thought you would use. Before you know it, you may have accumulated paint, and you’re not sure what to do with it all. You may have originally saved and stored your leftover paint to use on touchups and other projects around your home, but it’s gone untouched. Now all that leftover paint is taking up quite a bit of your space – isn’t it time you did something about it? Do you know what to do with it?

Drop Off Your Paint. We’ll Recycle It.

Since 2012 PaintCare, the nonprofit organization that recruits paint and hardware stores to take back paint has been setting up locations all over California where residents and businesses can drop off house paint, stain, and varnish. With hundreds of locations throughout the state, there’s probably one near you. More than 98% of us have a drop-off site within a few miles of our homes.  Find one near you using our paint drop-off site locator.

There is no charge for dropping off paint for recycling, and paint stores are open throughout the week and all year round. Before PaintCare, the only proper way to dispose of leftover paint was to take it to a monthly or yearly weekend household hazardous waste collection day or a facility operated on the outskirts of the city, sometimes with limited hours. Now, paint recycling is much more convenient for all households and businesses all over California.

Paint Can Be Recycled?

Paint is a valuable resource, so PaintCare manages the paint it collects using the recycling hierarchy of “highest best use.” Most of the latex paint is reblended into recycled-content paint. Some of it is used to make other non-paint products. Most of the oil-based paint is burned as fuel. Very little of the paint is deemed unusable and sent to a landfill. When people take their paint in for recycling, they’re helping keep their communities clean by making sure that leftover paint stays out of the trash or wastewater systems.

The recycling program is funded by a nominal fee applied to paint products at the time of purchase. You may have noticed it on your receipt the last time you bought some paint. The types of products that have fees when you buy them are the same as those accepted for recycling at paint drop-off locations.

Which Products Are Accepted?PaintCansGroupRevised

PaintCare drop-off locations accept most types of house paint and primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish). All brands are accepted, and it doesn’t matter how old the paint is. To be accepted at drop-off locations, products must be in their original containers and the container must have the original manufacturer’s printed label and a secured lid. (No leaking, unlabeled or empty containers.)

Some of the products that are not accepted include aerosols (spray cans), solvents (paint thinners), and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use (e.g., marine and automotive paints).

A complete list of products accepted by drop-off locations can be found here.

Recycle with PaintCare.

If it’s time to let go of some of that old paint, you can get some storage space back. Keep what you need, and recycle the rest!