The PaintCare Program in Connecticut has collected more than 240,000 gallons of leftover paint for recycling in its first year.
The program, launched in July 2013, is managed by the nonprofit PaintCare and was required by a state law and supported by the paint industry. It aims to make it more convenient for painting contractors, other businesses and resident to recycle unused and leftover paint.
The program has a network of more than 130 drop-off sites that take back old paint. Most drop-off sites are paint retailers that accept paint from the public during their regular business hours. Another 25 sites are town transfer stations, and a few are household hazardous waste programs that accept paint from their own residents.
Connecticut also has similar recycling programs for electronic waste and will soon have one for mattresses. They contribute to efforts to double the state’s recycling rate, says Rob Klee, commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
PaintCare was established by the American Coatings Association to implement paint stewardship programs on behalf of the paint manufacturers in states that pass paint stewardship laws. PaintCare also runs programs in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. PaintCare is also planning programs in Maine and Colorado to begin in summer 2015.
The program is funded by a fee on new paint sales that began in July 2013: 35 cents for pints and quarts, 75 cents for one gallon cans and $1.60 for larger containers up to five gallons. The fee funds paint collection, transportation, recycling, retailer training and promotion in Connecticut. Although all retailers must include the fee on their sales, participation as a drop off site is optional.