Letter to the editor

Recycle paint

If you’re wondering what to do with leftover paint that’s stacking up and taking space the answer is simple: Recycle and give it a useful second life.

Washington introduced its paint recycling program in early 2021, giving households and businesses access to convenient dropoff locations throughout the state. Washingtonians recycling more than one million gallons of leftover paint over the program’s first 18 months. That translates into one million gallons of paint that has been cleared out of storage, diverted from landfills and put to better use.

The paint recycling program is managed by PaintCare, a nonprofit that makes it easy to recycle by partnering with paint and hardware retailers, reuse stores, lumber yards, recycling centers and local government facilities. PaintCare maintains sites in centralized locations that are open year-round. From there, PaintCare transports and processes paint at nearby facilities, and much of it ends up back on the shelf as recycled content paint.

There are over 250 PaintCare drop off sites throughout Washington and since a small fee is applied to purchases of all new paint sold in the state to fund the program, there is no cost when it’s time to drop it off.

Before dropping paint off, you should make sure the cans are no larger than five gallons, the manufacturer’s printed label is intact, and the paint container is covered with a secure lid. Before leaving home, call your their nearest PaintCare dropoff site to ensure they are open and ready to accept the quantity of paint you have.

For those looking to recycle 100+ gallons, PaintCare offers a large volume pickup service. Businesses or residents can simply check eligibility online, request a pickup and their paint will be taken at no cost.

Clean that old paint out of your shed and help us make a difference, one can at a time.

Lauren Scher

Washington, Oregon Paintcare program manager