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New stewardship program makes recycling paint convenient and sustainable

Summary

Washington’s new paint stewardship program goes into effect today, making it easy for residents and businesses to conveniently and sustainably recycle leftover paint. Visit paintcare.org/wa to search for local drop-off locations, which include King County’s hazardous waste drop off location at the Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station in Bellevue, and the Wastemobile.

Story

Washington’s new paintPaintCare_web_040121 recycling program begins April 1, making it easy for residents and businesses to conveniently and sustainably recycle leftover paint, stain, and varnish. The program is managed by PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created by the paint industry, and made possible following the passage of a 2019 paint stewardship law. 

Residents and business owners can visit paintcare.org/wa to search for the nearest drop-off site. All locations accept at least 5 gallons of paint from each customer and paint must be dropped off in its original container with the original manufacturer’s label on it.

Though some locations will accept both latex and oil-based paint, stains, and varnishes, facilities operated by King County, including the hazardous waste drop off location at the Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station and the Wastemobile, only accept oil-based paint.    

Businesses, organizations, and households with large volumes of paint to recycle have another convenient, cost-effective service at no additional cost. Those with 200 gallons or more of eligible products measured by container volume (not liquid volume) may request a free pickup at their location. More information and a request form can be found at paintcare.org/pickup.   

PaintCare helps ensure the highest, best use for paint collected in the program, including giving away good quality material as-is, recycling, or put to some other beneficial use. Most of what PaintCare collects is latex paint that can be remixed into recycled paint by processors, while some is used as fuel or made into other products. Currently about 10% of all household paint goes unused, and PaintCare estimates nearly 1.3 million gallons of paint will be recycled during the program’s first year.   

Passage of the paint stewardship law that led to the new program was 10 years in the making and the result of years of collaboration among multiple stakeholders, including Washington’s Department of Ecology,  King County’s Hazardous Waste Management Program, the Product Stewardship Institute, the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, and Zero Waste Washington. 

The law ensures everyone involved in the production, sale, and use of paint will work together to manage the entire product life cycle of paint. The program is funded by a small fee on the sale of new paint, which funds all aspects of the program, including paint collection, transportation, processing, and public education. 

RELEVANT LINKS

PaintCare: paintcare.org/
Washington drop-off locations: paintcare.org/wa
Large volume pick-up options: paintcare.org/pickup

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Doug Williams, 206-477-4543

About the King County Solid Waste Division
The Solid Waste Division is guided by its vision to achieve Zero Waste of Resources by 2030, and to enhance the environment through collaboration and innovation. The division operates eight transfer stations, two rural drop boxes, and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill – the only operational landfill in the county. Our stakeholders include residents and business owners in unincorporated King County and 37 cities throughout the county. Our mission is to deliver value our customers and stakeholders, and to continuously improve waste prevention, resource recovery, and waste disposal.