In an otherwise disappointing year for waste reduction and recycling policy, California did enact legislation to establish and finance a used paint recycling program.
AB 1343 by Assembly Member Huffman, will require manufacturers to operate and finance a recycling program for used paint.
Local governments in California have long provided a drop off opportunity for used paints, but at a considerable cost to tax payers. AB 1343 will reduce the financial burden on local governments and hopefully increase paint recycling rate. Post-consumer paint is the single largest source of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) generated in California, representing 35% of the HHW volume collected by local governments. In 2008, over 26 million gallons of paint were collected in California, costing local governments over $27 million. Local governments have no choice but to bear the high cost because paint is prohibited from disposal in California solid waste landfills.
AB 1343 represents a compromise solution between the paint industry, environmental groups, and local governments. A similar policy was enacted in Oregon in 2009.