National effort made to cut waste paint from refuse stream
Pennsylvania is the latest state to enlist
Harrisburg, PA— On behalf of Governor Edward G.
Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty signed
a Memorandum of Understanding with various state and local governments,
federal regulatory agencies, manufacturers, retailers and others to
reduce the amount of leftover paint that finds its way into the municipal
“Each year, as much as 34 million gallons of unused
paint is disposed of in the United States, much of it improperly, posing
a threat to public health and the environment,” Secretary McGinty
said. “Pennsylvania spends $1 million a year on household hazardous
waste collection and disposal, including paint, so reducing the amount
of discarded paint will improve the environment and save money.”
The Product Stewardship Institute, based at the University
of Massachusetts, is coordinating this project. The institute works
on ways to make better use of products and properly manage them after
their useful life has ended to protect the environment.
One of the key goals of this initiative is to find ways
to increase the amount of products made from recycled paint, and to
make both individuals and companies aware of the potential value of
these recycled products. Much of unused paint can be recycled and used
again, but that is not currently happening. Aside from using leftover
paint for its original intended purpose, recycled paint can be used
to make products such as concrete additives, sealers and caulking.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, which includes
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, several state environmental
agencies, numerous local governments and leading paint manufacturers,
retailers and related companies, the signatories agree to work together
to study ways to reduce the amount of paint that is unused and inform
the public about proper disposal.
The various groups that have signed this Memorandum of
Understanding will work over the next two years to develop a strategy
to increase the use of products made from recycled paint, reduce the
over-purchasing of paint that leads to unused product, and encourage
the proper disposal of unusable paint.
For more information on how to best use and dispose of
paint and paint- related products, visit DEP’s website at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/,
Keyword: “DEP Household Hazardous Waste.”