New Jersey Legislature Passes PaintCare Bill, Awaiting Governor’s Signature
If the PaintCare bill is signed into law, New Jersey would join Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, Washington, New York and the District of Columbia, all of which have enacted legislation for implementing the ACA- and industry-conceived platform for the proper and effective management of post-consumer paint.
ACA and its industry are committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint, which is often the number one product, by volume and cost, coming into Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) programs. PaintCare has had resounding success in the nine jurisdictions in which program operations have been implemented (Washington State program operations will begin later in 2020; and New York by January 2021).
ACA created PaintCare, a 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to ensure effective operation and efficient administration of paint product stewardship programs, on behalf of all architectural paint manufacturers in the United States. PaintCare undertakes the responsibility for ensuring an environmentally sound and cost-effective program by developing and implementing strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint; promoting the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint; and providing for the collection, transport, and processing of post-consumer architectural paint using the hierarchy of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and proper disposal.
The program is designed to relieve a considerable financial burden on local governments, which currently funds these programs.
The legislation would require PaintCare to establish a paint collection site within 15 miles of 90 percent of the state’s residents. Permanent collection sites must set up for every 30,000 residents of a population center.
ACA believes that this would be critical in New Jersey where only five of the 21 counties even accept latex paint for recycling and proper disposal — latex paint being 80 percent of the paint sold today. Those few counties that do accept latex paint do so at a great cost. For example, Ocean County reported spending over $200,000 on their paint management program in 2013 alone.
The funding for the program collected via an assessment fee will cover the cost of all paint — not just new paint sold, but all the legacy paint already in consumers’ basements and garages. The assessment would also go toward consumer education and program outreach, as well as administrative costs. ACA believes that consumer education is paramount with this type of program since paint is a consumable product. ACA maintains that manufacturers do not produce paint to be thrown away, but rather, to be used up. To work toward a goal of post-consumer paint waste minimization, the consumer must be engaged. PaintCare’s educational program does not just focus on recycling and proper management of unwanted paint, but on buying the right amount of paint and taking advantage of reuse opportunities that can help reduce the generation of leftover paint in the first place.
To further ensure fairness and consumer protection, the bill specified that the assessment funding the program must be approved by an independent audit submitted to the state Department of Environment/Environmental Services and must be set at a rate to cover only the cost to manage and sustain the program.
ACA worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the state’s local waste authorities, HHW program managers, and Product Stewardship Councils, and other stakeholders to refine the legislation.
Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.