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Connecticut to Adopt Paint Recycling Program

By Tim Wright

Published June 9, 2011

With undivided approval from the state Senate last month, the House of Representatives recently approved a bill that would start a paint recycling program in Connecticut for retail paint. Under the program, recycling drop-off locations will be established at certain paint retail centers with the potential for future businesses established to recycle or properly dispose of paint products.

This latest success represents another step forward for the American Coatings Association’s paint recycling agenda. Under the paint stewardship program, the discarded paint would go from the retail store to a facility where it can be either disposed of properly or recycled.

A nonprofit organization representing the industry will collect a nominal fee for the recovery, recycling or proper disposal of architectural paint. To pay for this a small fee would be tacked on to the paint’s retail price. In Oregon, where the same program started in 2010, it was .75 cents more a gallon. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is in talks with paint manufacturers.

Advocates of the bill don’t see the extra cost deterring retailers from participating in the program, which they would not be mandated to do.

“There are 7.4 million gallons of paint sold in Connecticut each year. Ten percent of that total is leftover or unused,” said State Representative Pat Widlitz (D-Guilford, Branford), who negotiated the bill and led the effort to pass it on the House floor.
“This program will save our towns money, cost less than the current hazardous waste collection process and insure the proper disposal and recycling of unused product in an environmentally appropriate manner.”

In 2008, it was calculated the cost of disposing leftover and unused paint in Connecticut at hazardous waste collection locations was $620,000. It is estimated the recovery cost involved in this new program will be a fraction of that number, specifically $.75/gallon and $1.60/5 gallon. Latex-based paint not brought to hazardous waste collection sites results in increased tipping fees for municipalities when containers are just placed in the trash after drying out.


Types of paint products that can be covered under the program include:


• Oil-based paint
• Latex-based paint

• Deck coating
• Waterproof sealers

• Primers
• Varnish

• Stains
• Shellac


Following approval of regulations by the DEP, the program is expected to be running by July 1, 2013. The bill next heads to the desk of Governor Dannel Malloy for his expected signature.

If Malloy gives the go-ahead, Connecticut would become the third state in the nation to pass the law, joining Oregon and California.

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