PDCA Blog

Recycling Leftover Paint is an Easy Way to Show Your Environmental Stripes

This is a guest blog post from one of our sponsors, PaintCare. 

PaintCare offers a unique solution for painting and decorating contractors looking to demonstrate their commitment to the conservation of resources. When you use PaintCare, you can tell your customers and community that paint left over from your jobs will be recycled. You can also encourage your customers to recycle any paint that they might have lying around from previous jobs.

PaintCare makes recycling easy and convenient by setting up drop-off locations where businesses (and households) can get rid of leftover or unwanted house paint, stain, and varnish. Currently, PaintCare operates paint recycling programs in the District of Columbia and eight states: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Recycle a Little at a Time

When a project is done, why not drop off any leftover paint the next time you buy supplies for your next job? In those states with paint recycling programs, PaintCare partners with paint and hardware retail stores that volunteer to be drop-off sites during regular business hours. Other PaintCare partners that accept leftover paint include household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities, waste transfer stations, recycling centers, and “reuse” stores.

All PaintCare locations accept up to five gallons per visit, and some take more. Containers can be any size up to five gallons, and they need to have original labels. Spray paint, paint in drums (bulked paint), or leaking, unlabeled, or empty containers are not accepted. You can use PaintCare’s online site locator map to find location options near you (paintcare.org).

Free Large Volume Pick-Up

If you have a lot of leftover paint—at least 200 gallons (by container size, not volume of paint)—you can arrange for PaintCare to pick up your paint for free. This service can be a real cost saver for businesses that have leftover paint that’s accumulated in storage over many years.

Products Accepted for Recycling

Products accepted for recycling—called “PaintCare Products”—are those that have a stewardship fee assessed on them at the time of purchase. These products include nearly all types of architectural coatings:  interior and exterior paint (latex or oil-based), primers, sealers, undercoaters, deck coatings, floor paints, shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, urethanes, metal coatings, and rust preventatives.

Cleaning supplies and other chemicals are not accepted, such as paint thinners, mineral spirits or paint additives. Auto paints, marine coatings, aerosol paints, and finishes used in original equipment manufacturing (shop application) also are not accepted.

More Information

To find a paint drop-off location nearest you or to request a large volume pick-up, visit paintcare.org or call (855) 724-6809.

Don’t live in a “PaintCare State?” You might not have convenient locations to recycle leftover paint, but you can still find HHW and other waste facilities that accept unwanted paint by using PaintCare’s online Drop-Off Site Locator tool available at paintcare.org.