California’s Paint Stewardship Program

November 27, 2012

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Part 1: How it works

The state of California has a new law that aims to increase environmental responsibility throughout the painting industry. This paint stewardship program, officially dubbed the PaintCare Program, is a hazardous waste management initiative that makes it easier for industrial and commercial painting contractors, as well as households, to make sure that recycling paint is attainable at little to no cost.

Expanding the collection infrastructure

One of the biggest barriers to recycling paint is the accessibility of collection and disposal sites. The PaintCare Program is a hazardous waste management program and will address this problem by cultivating the growth of an infrastructure that gives commercial and industrial painting contractors greater options and convenience for recycling paint.

Initially, the program will negotiate partnerships with existing locations, including municipal household hazardous waste collection sites. This partnership will soon extend to retail collection, a move that offers greater flexibility in both location and operating hours. Municipal sites are typically open only during “working” hours, while most retail locations will provide evening and weekend drop-off options.

Large quantity users, such as industrial and commercial painting contractors, can arrange for door-to-door pickup services in some municipalities of California.

What the program accepts

As with any recycling program, there are limitations on the types of paint products that can be recycled or disposed of through collection sites. The PaintCare Program will accept unlimited quantities of latex paint—which is the more environmentally friendly variety of the two main types. In addition, small amounts of oil-based paints will be accepted for disposal.

Most incidental products of commercial painting, such as paint thinners, will not be accepted by the program. However, some collection sites will offer safe disposal of incidental products, which allows industrial painting contractors to further expand their environmental responsibility.

California’s paint stewardship program is a strong step toward green consciousness, and a positive addition to the state’s health and well-being.

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