A new law in Colorado took effect on July 1, 2015, which makes it more convenient for households and most businesses to recycle unwanted paint. The new recycling program is operated through PaintCare, a non-profit organization established on behalf of paint manufacturers in states that have paint stewardship laws. There are currently more than 1,500 PaintCare drop-off sites operating in the states of California, Connecticut, Oregon, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and now Colorado.
There are 115 drop-off sites established in Colorado so far with another 70 sites planned to open in the coming year. Most sites are at paint retailers which include hardware, paint and home improvement stores that have volunteered to take back paint. A number of sites will also be local household hazardous waste facilities or special round-up events.
PaintCare locations accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers and clear coatings but do not accept aerosol spray cans. All products must be in their original container with their original label, have a secure lid, and be in a container no larger than 5 gallons in size.
How is this program paid for?
There is no charge for dropping off paint and other acceptable products at a PaintCare site. The program is funded by a PaintCare fee which is added to the purchase price of paint and calculated by container size: half pint or smaller – no charge, larger than half pint to less than 1 gallon – $.35, 1 gallon – $.75, and larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons – $1.60.
The fees collected are used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare program, such as paint collection, transportation, recycling, outreach and administration.
Use of retail drop-off sites by businesses
Retail drop-off sites provide a convenient and no cost recycling option for many painting contractors and other businesses. Businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month (approximately 20-30 gallons) can use these sites to recycle both water and oil-based products with some restrictions on quantities per month. Larger businesses which generate more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month can use the drop-off sites for their water-based products only. They are not able to use the sites for oil-based paints or other solvent-based products.
The Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF), located at 1901 63rd St., is an official PaintCare drop-off site. For information, visit: bouldercountyrecycles.org or go to: paintcare.org for a list of drop-off sites near you.