New California Law Mandates Paint Recycling


A California law that went into effect Friday, Oct. 19, requires paint manufacturers to develop a take-back system for leftover paint from household and commercial consumers.

The new California Paint Stewardship Program will be the second of its kind in the United States. Oregon’s pilot program started two years ago. Connecticut and Rhode Island are planning similar programs.

Paint manufacturers, through the American Coatings Association, created PaintCare, a nonprofit organization to administer the state programs. The nonprofit will arrange for recycling and proper disposal of unused paint and conduct public education about proper paint management.

More than 700 million gallons of architectural paint are sold each year in the U.S., and about 10 percent is available for recycling. Until now, leftover paint has been handled primarily by government-run household hazardous waste programs.

“This program will make proper paint management more convenient for the public by setting up hundreds of new paint drop-off sites at retailers throughout the state,” said Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, executive director of PaintCare. “It will also help local governments that partner with PaintCare by paying for the paint they already accept through their household hazardous waste programs.”

Funding for the program will come from a recovery fee that will be applied to the purchase price of paint sold in California and paid to PaintCare.

Fees are based on container size as follows: No fee for a half-pint or less; 35 cents for paint that is more than a half-pint but less than a gallon; 75 cents for a gallon, and $1.60 for paint that is more than a gallon and up to 5 gallons.

PaintCare will use the fees to pay for the transportation of leftover paint from partnering drop-off sites to processors for recycling and energy recovery.

For more information about the California Paint Stewardship Program or to find out where you can recycle your own paint, visit PaintCare California Program.


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