In 2009 Oregon became the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring architectural paint manufacturers to start a program to reduce waste, increase reuse and recycling, and safely dispose of remaining unusable paint and other coatings. The resulting paint product stewardship program is paid for by Oregonians who buy paint, managed by industry, and overseen by DEQ. It complements and expands on the network of local waste collection programs, saving local governments money in transportation and disposal costs.
The paint stewardship program began as a pilot program in July 2010. During the first two years, the pilot program collected nearly a million gallons of leftover paint for reuse and recycling. Based on this success, Oregon’s 2013 Legislature made the paint stewardship program permanent. Paint collection is now more convenient throughout the state, particularly in areas that previously didn’t have paint recycling opportunities.
Under the program, retailers collect a program fee from consumers for each container registered for sale in Oregon which goes back to manufacturers to pay for the program. They then pay a stewardship organization, PaintCare, to manage collections and provide outreach and education on how to buy the right amount, reuse, and recycle paint and other coatings.
Managing leftover paint is important because this difficult-to-manage waste makes up the largest volume of materials collected by local household hazardous waste programs. An estimated ten percent of the more than 7.5 million gallons of architectural paint sold each year in Oregon is unused.
To learn more about what items are accepted and where to take them, go to the PaintCare website.
- Pending Program Plan Amendment