Last week Maine became the seventh state in the country to pass a law requiring manufacturers to develop and implement a statewide paint recycling program, according to Waste & Recycling News. Other states with paint recycling programs include California, Oregon, Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The program will be run by PaintCare, Inc. the same non-profit organization that runs California and Oregon’s statewide recycling programs. California’s program, known as the California Paint Stewardship Program, began in October, 2012 after the passage of CAW-sponsored AB 1343 (Huffman).
Leftover paint is considered a household hazardous material that is illegal to throw in the trash. In fact, roughly 50% of what is recycled through the state's 120 hazardous waste facilities is architectural paint. In 2008, over 26 million gallons of paint were collected in California, costing local governments over $27 million. Before AB 1343, local governments had no choice but to bear the high cost of paint collection because it is prohibited from disposal in California solid waste landfills.
Maine’s bill had strong bi-partisan support in the legislature; the Governor allowed it to become law without his signature.
Find out more about product stewardship and producer responsibility.
Photo credit: WTNH News 8