JULY 2009

California paint recycling project assisted with grant

San Joaquin County, California, is developing a statewide paint stewardship program aimed at reducing the 8 million gallons of leftover paint Californians generate annually.

Through a $400,000 grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), the California Paint Stewardship Program will teach consumers how to buy the right amount of paint, properly store leftovers, and provide reuse and recycling options. For paint that cannot be reduced or reused, the project goal is to increase collection of unused paint for recycling and stimulate the recycled paint market.

Project information will be posted on CPSC's website, www.CalPSC.org, or call 209-468-3066 to speak with the organization directly.

Studies show that many consumers purchase too much paint, leading to large volumes of leftover paint. California local governments spend approximately $16 million annually to collect unused paint through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs. Taxpayers and garbage rate payers spend about $8 per gallon to operate these programs. Because of the high cost, the CIWMB is interested in finding long-term solutions that will reduce system costs by addressing source reduction first, then reuse and recycling.

San Joaquin County will collaborate with Tehama and San Francisco Counties to implement the project, which will build on progress from the National Paint Product Stewardship Initiative. The project will educate retailers, consumers and governments about estimating the correct amount of paint for purchase, opting to buy recycled paint and participating in paint exchanges. Partners include Visions Paint Recycling, the National Paint and Coatings Association, and other experts.