District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia

Contact: Ida Arabshahi, District of Columbia Program Manager, iarabshahi@paint.org (202) 719-3696

The District’s PaintCare Program started on November 1, 2016.

Paint-Only Event

PaintCare plans special one-day paint collection events in the District of Columbia. These events are open to households and businesses (painting contractors, property managers, etc.) in the District. Our next event is:

Drop-Off Sites

>> Find a PaintCare drop-off location

It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in the District of Columbia. We have recruited paint and hardware stores to take back paint. PaintCare has set up 8 convenient locations to drop off paint throughout the district. These drop-off sites are available to any household and business in the District, and they accept paint whenever they are open for business, all year-round.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

Products We Accept

PaintCare sites accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish), but not 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 will be accepted.


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 District. These fees are paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers, then passed down to retailers and to their customers. When you buy paint starting today, November 1, 2016, 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 in the District are based on container size as follows:

Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint and smaller than 1 gallon $0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons $0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.95

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 or use our online order form (www.paintcare.org/order-pos/). 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 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. The District’s PaintCare program began on November 1, 2016.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

Fees and Funding

As required by District law, a paint stewardship assessment (“PaintCare Fee”) is added by manufacturers to the wholesale price of all architectural paint sold in the District. 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 for the District have been approved by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). Fees are by container size as follows:

Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint and smaller than 1 gallon $0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons $0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.95
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 include 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 are 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 200 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 200 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 and Print

Information for painting contractors is available below.

Responsibilities of All Retailers

The District of Columbia 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 November 1, 2016, the first day of the program. 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. The fees for the District have been approved by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). Fees are by container size as follows:

Container Size Fee
Half pint or smaller $0.00
Larger than half pint and smaller than 1 gallon $0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons $0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons $1.95

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.

Fact Sheets

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

  • Fact Sheet: Paint Purchasers. Provides an overview of the PaintCare program including fees, accepted products, limits on quantities accepted at drop-off sites, our large volume pick-up service, municipal HHW programs and special events.
  • Fact Sheet: Paint Retailers. General Information for Paint Retailers: this fact sheet was provided to all paint retailers in the District to inform them of their responsibilities under the paint stewardship program.
  • Fact Sheet: PaintCare Fees. Answers to common questions from retailers about fees.
  • Fact Sheet: Painting Contractors. This document is helpful for retailers to explain the program to their customers who are painting contractors so that they can incorporate fees into job estimates.
  • Fact Sheet: Large Volume Pick-Up Service, available in Spanish.
    • Submit the LVP form (Excel) to request a pickup. The form is a spreadsheet to help painting contractors calculate totals. If you don’t have Excel software, print this PDF and send by fax or regular mail. 

The following materials are also available for your customers:

  • Program Brochure (“Recycle with PaintCare”) available in Spanish.
  • Mini Card (“Find a paint drop-off site”) available in Spanish.
  • Leftover Paint Receipt Form Use this receipt if someone dropping off paint asks for one. (Some county or city inspectors ask businesses to show receipts to demonstrate that they disposed or recycled of their paint.)

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.

Already a Drop-Off Site?

PaintCare provides exempt generator certification forms and logs to drop-off sites to be signed by all businesses and organizations either requesting a pick-up of hazardous program products or seeking to drop off hazardous program products at drop-off sites. These forms were updated in August 2017 due to changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Download the current Paint Drop-Off Log (for use by retail drop-off locations) and LVS Exempt Generator Certification Form (for use by large volume pick-up sites) for your PaintCare training binder.

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.

Program Plan

PaintCare’s program plan for the District of Columbia was submitted to the District on April 1, 2016. This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities proposed for the DC Paint Stewardship Program.


The District of Columbia PaintCare Program is a result of Act Number 20-501, enacted in 2015. The legislation is clarified through District regulations.

Oversight Agency

The oversight agency for the District of Columbia paint stewardship program is the District Department of Energy and Environment.