New PaintCare service makes it convenient, sustainable, and safe to dispose of paint
May 2, 2022 – Recently, PaintCare released the first annual report for its Washington paint recycling program. The program, which is guided by the state’s paint stewardship law (SHB 1652), officially launched on April 1, 2021. In its first nine months of operation in Washington, PaintCare collected 581,363 gallons of paint, diverting most of it out of landfills and putting it to beneficial use. Now, a year into collection, PaintCare estimates that Washingtonians have dropped off approximately 842,000 gallons of unwanted paint.
The new paint recycling program allows people to recycle unwanted paint easily and responsibly at a network of 210 drop-off sites across the state. The service is offered by the nonprofit, paint industry-led organization PaintCare and made possible by a unique collaboration between local and state-wide governments and private sector businesses. By recycling this paint, PaintCare benefits consumers and the environment by diverting paint from Washington’s waste stream and reusing and recycling it in communities across the state.
“It is estimated that about 10% of all household paint gets thrown away and can end up in landfills. Washingtonians chose to convert this waste product into a beneficial resource,” said Brett Rodgers, Director of Communications, PaintCare. “From day one, households and businesses across the state were engaged in recycling efforts. We owe a tremendous thank you to all of our partners that helped get this program off the ground. The outpouring of community support has been immense.”
PaintCare is a nonprofit organization created by the paint industry through the American Coatings Association (ACA) to manage leftover paint in states that have enacted paint stewardship laws. By working with centrally located paint retail stores and locally managed government facilities, the program makes it easy to recycle leftover paint, stain, and varnish. PaintCare also offers free on-location pickup to businesses, organizations, and households with 100 gallons of paint or more to recycle.
“These programs allow us to put paint back on the shelf, protect the environment, and save local governments millions of dollars each year,” continued Rodgers. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far and look forward to continue working with our partners to safely and responsibly recycle even more paint in Washington state.”
PaintCare’s Washington program is made possible by the state’s paint stewardship law (SHB 1652), which was passed in 2019. The law ensures that everyone who produces, sells, and uses paint work together to manage its entire life cycle. Passage of the Washington paint stewardship law was made possible by support from multiple stakeholders, including Washington’s Department of Ecology, the ACA, the Product Stewardship Institute, the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, and Zero Waste Washington.
The paint stewardship law includes a small fee—called the PaintCare fee—on the sale of any new paint in the state, which funds all aspects of the program including paint collection, transportation, processing, and public education. Most PaintCare sites accept both latex and oil-based architectural paint products, including paints, stains, and varnishes. Paint must be dropped off in its original container with its original manufacturer’s label.
Households and businesses can easily find the nearest drop-off site by visiting PaintCare’s online site locator. To view a full list of products accepted by the program, visit www.paintcare.org/products.
PaintCare is committed to making it easy and convenient for households and businesses to recycle leftover paint in states with paint stewardship laws. A nonprofit organization created by paint manufacturers, PaintCare sets up drop-off locations for leftover paint, arranges for recycling and proper disposal, and conducts public education. More than 580,000 gallons of paint, stain, and varnish have been managed by PaintCare’s Washington program since it launched on April 1, 2021. For additional information, visit www.paintcare.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @WeRecyclePaint.