DEEP: Statewide Paint Recycling Program Launches In Connecticut

July 1, 2013
 
Statewide Paint Recycling Program Launches In Connecticut
 
PaintCare, a Washington, DC-based product stewardship organization for the paint industry, is pleased to announce the official launch of the program responsible for the recycling of unused and leftover paint in the state. Legislation for the plan was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy in 2011 and today PaintCare, the State of Connecticut and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) held a press conference to kick off the statewide program.
 
“With programs like PaintCare Connecticut, we are moving the state towards a safer and more efficient 21st century method of handling recyclables and waste disposal,” said Governor Malloy. “Paint recycling now joins our electronic waste and mattress recycling programs as another example of a common sense, money saving solution. We are taking the lead on transforming and modernizing our recycling system while gaining greater value from waste materials, reducing waste through improved materials management, protecting our environment and lowering costs for municipalities, businesses and consumers.”
 
Created by the American Coatings Association (ACA), a membership organization of paint manufacturers, PaintCare is a non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization tasked with working with state and local government to develop paint product stewardship legislation; secure permanent, year-round drop-off and collection sites; conduct public outreach/education; and operate on-going programs in each state for the recycling of post-consumer paint.
 
A new law mandates paint manufacturers create and fund an easy-to-use, cost-effective and environmentally responsible program to manage post-consumer paint (unused or leftover). The programs are funded by a minimal “recovery fee” added to the purchase price of paint at retailers throughout participating states. These fees are based on the size of paint container, and are as follows:
 
Container Size                                    Fee Per Unit
˝ Pint or Less                               $0.00
More than ˝ pint to 1 gallon            $0.35
1 Gallon                                        $0.75
More than 1 Gallon to 5 Gallons         $1.60
 
PaintCare drop-off sites will be permanent and open year-round making it much more convenient for people to recycle their paint – including latex paint. This will reduce the need for homeowners and paint contractors to wait for their town’s annual household hazardous waste events to recycle paint. PaintCare will establish approximately 100 drop off sites throughout Connecticut in the next few months (sites are being approved and added to the program now). Most sites are located at local paint stores, hardware stores and town transfer stations (for residents of that town only). PaintCare will also pay for transportation and recycling of paint dropped off at some participating household hazardous waste collection programs.
 
DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, “We estimate that a staggering five million containers with more than one million gallons of paint are stored in garages and basements across Connecticut.  This recycling program means that this leftover paint will be turned into useful new products instead of eventually going into the waste stream.   This helps lower the cost and reduce the environmental impact of trash disposal.” 
One of the Connecticut state legislators most instrumental in helping to get the paint stewardship law passed was State Representative Patricia Widlitz, D-98th District (Branford & Guilford).
 
"I am very excited to see Connecticut's Paint Stewardship Plan launched in Branford and pleased that our local Sherwin Williams store will participate as a collection point. This initiative will ensure the environmentally responsible end-of-life management of leftover paint while saving our towns significant amounts of money for solid and hazardous waste disposal. Local collection points will also make it more convenient for customers to dispose of all those paint cans piling up in their basements and garages!" said Widlitz.
 
As the third program in the nation, PaintCare is eager to begin operations in the Nutmeg State.
 
“We are thrilled to get the PaintCare program off the ground here in Connecticut,” said PaintCare Executive Director, Marjaneh Zarrehparvar. “It is our goal to ensure that leftover paint is being disposed of in environmentally conscious way on an on-going basis, and we look forward to working together with retailers and municipalities across Connecticut for years to come” added Zarrehparvar.
 
PaintCare operates programs in Oregon, California, and now Connecticut. The Product Stewardship Institute, a national non-profit whose mission is to bring all those involved in the lifecycle of a product to share responsibility for its end of life management, helped design the program and legislation implemented at the state level.
 
“Today is proof of a growing national trend of producers taking greater responsibility for the post-consumer impacts of their products, and of EPR legislation, of which Connecticut is a true vanguard,” says Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer of the Product Stewardship Institute. “We applaud the paint industry for saving taxpayer dollars, protecting the environment, creating recycling jobs, and leading their corporate colleagues into the future.”
 
Due to the program’s success, other states are continuing to introduce similar legislation. In 2014 PaintCare will launch similar programs in Rhode Island, Vermont and Minnesota.
 
For more information on PaintCare, paint recycling, and to find local drop off sites in Connecticut please visit www.paintcare.org.
 
About Paint Care
 
PaintCare is a non-profit organization established by the American Coatings Association to implement Paint Stewardship Programs on behalf of the paint manufacturers in states that pass paint stewardship laws. To learn more about PaintCare, please visit www.paintcare.org.