ACA’s PaintCare® pilot program in Oregon marked its second anniversary in July, and on Sept. 4, PaintCare® submitted its annual report for the program to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The report details all the operational aspects and successes of the program’s second year, including collection infrastructure, volume and disposition of paint collected, program costs, and education and outreach activities.
In its second year, PaintCare® added 11 collection sites, bringing the total to 102 sites consisting of both municipal and retail outlets; and collected approximately 610,000 gallons of paint, with the latex paint going for recycling into new paint as well as other products and the alkyd going for fuel blending. An independent financial audit deemed the program financially sound, with approximately $425,000 in surplus for the first year.
In 2009, Oregon became the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from consumer and contractor painting jobs. This historic product stewardship legislation responds to the issue of managing leftover paint — the largest component of local household hazardous waste collection programs. ACA created the incorporated PaintCare® program on behalf of architectural paint manufacturers, and in July 2010, the paint industry kicked off the PaintCare® program in Oregon to reduce paint waste, increase reuse and recycling, and safely dispose of remaining unusable paint. Costs for safely managing leftover paint are incorporated in the purchase price of new paint.
The PaintCare® program is expected to result in the proper management of hundreds of thousands of gallons of leftover paint each year. Paint recycling is now more convenient throughout the state, particularly in areas where local governments do not offer paint recycling opportunities. Governments that previously collected leftover paint will realize a direct financial savings. Communities that were underserved have new services.
In addition to covering the operational facets of the program, the PaintCare® annual report for Oregon’s second year contains examples of all of the outreach materials the program used, including earned and purchased media. Following submittal of PaintCare®'s inaugural report in 2011, DEQ recommended to the Oregon Legislature that the PaintCare® pilot program be made permanent (the Oregon Legislature only meets once every two years). The growth and continued success of the program in its second year should serve to reinforce the urgency with which PaintCare® should become a mainstay program in Oregon.
ACA’s PaintCare® program is at the forefront of the producer responsibility movement, in which Oregon is a national leader. Producer responsibility means manufacturers take responsibility for reducing the lifecycle impacts of a product, including internalizing the end-of-life management costs, rather than having government set up and fund collection programs for waste products. Legislation to establish the PaintCare® program has already been enacted in California beginning Oct. 19, 2012; Connecticut in 2013; and Rhode Island in 2014; and with the success of the Oregon pilot, ACA is extremely hopeful that it will establish programs in all interested states and for PaintCare® to become a national system for the management of leftover paint.
More information on PaintCare® is available at www.PaintCare.org.