ACA's PaintCare pilot program in Oregon marked its third anniversary in July, and on Sept. 3, PaintCare submitted its annual report for the program to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The report details all the operational aspects and successes of the program's third year, including collection infrastructure, volume and disposition of paint collected, program costs, and education and outreach activities.
In its third year, PaintCare maintained 100 collection sites, consisting of both municipal and retail outlets, with some new sites being added in previously underserved areas. With PaintCare's infrastructure, 95 percent of Oregon resident have access to a permanent site within 15 miles of their home. In addition, PaintCare continued its large volume direct pick-up program for painting contractors, universities and other entities with large volumes of postconsumer paint - 31 pick-ups were conducted. As expected, collection volumes increases moderately from Year 2, with 580,693gallons of postconsumer paint collected. This takes the Oregon program to over 1.5 million gallons collected since its launch. As in previous years, most of the latex was recycled into new recycled-content paint, and almost all of the alkyd paint was used for fuel blending. An independent financial audit deemed the program financially sound, with approximately $950,000 in surplus to date. The Year 3 Oregon Annual Report is available on the Oregon tab of www.PaintCare.org.
In 2009, Oregon became the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from consumer and contractor painting jobs. This historic product stewardship legislation responds to the issue of managing leftover paint - the largest component of local household hazardous waste collection programs. ACA created the incorporated PaintCare program on behalf of architectural paint manufacturers, and in July 2010, the paint industry kicked off the PaintCare program in Oregon to reduce paint waste, increase reuse and recycling, and safely dispose of remaining unusable paint. Costs for safely managing leftover paint are incorporated in the purchase price of new paint.
ACA's PaintCare program is at the forefront of the producer responsibility movement, in which Oregon is a national leader. Producer responsibility means manufacturers take responsibility for reducing the lifecycle impacts of a product, including internalizing the end-of-life management costs, rather than having government set up and fund collection programs for waste products. In response to the success of the Oregon Program, legislation mandating the creation of the PaintCare program has been enacted in six additional states since 2009: California (2010), Connecticut (2011), Rhode Island (2012), Minnesota (2013), Vermont (2013), and Maine (20130. The California program launched in October 2012, the Connecticut program launched in July 2013, and program operations will commence in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Minnesota by July 2014, and in Maine by July 2015.
The PaintCare program is expected to result in the proper management of millions of gallons of leftover paint each year. Paint recycling is now more convenient throughout participating states and many communities that were previously underserved for household hazardous waste services have a PaintCare drop-off site available in their area for paint. Partnering government programs are realizing a direct financial savings as PaintCare covers the cost of paint transportation and recycling from their programs.
Following submittal of PaintCare's inaugural report in 2011, DEQ recommended to the Oregon Legislature that the PaintCare pilot program be made permanent, echoed by ACA. This July, the Oregon Legislature passed legislation to repeal the sunset date on the state's four-year pilot industry paint stewardship program, and made the program permanent.