Statewide paint recycling program with new fee begins in July

The state is moving forward with a plan to recycle paint that will add a fee of 35 cents to $1.60 on paint purchases in Connecticut, depending on container size.

The fee and recycling program will begin July 1, and is part of an ongoing effort in Connecticut to recycle more products — such as electronic waste and soon, mattresses.

PaintCare, a nonprofit organization set up by the paint industry, has worked with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to finalize the plan for recycling unused and leftover paint. Legislation for the plan was approved in 2011.

People will be able to drop-off unused or unwanted paint at stores that sell paint, municipal transfer stations and some other locations to be established by PaintCare.

Created by the American Coatings Association, a membership organization of paint and coatings manufacturers, PaintCare works with state and local governments to develop “paint product stewardship” legislation, establish ongoing paint recycling programs, and conduct public outreach and education.

‘Environmentally responsible program’

The 2011 state law mandates that paint manufacturers create and fund an easy-to-use, cost-effective and environmentally responsible program to manage post-consumer paint (unused or leftover) in Connecticut.

The program will be funded by a “recovery fee” added to the purchase price of paint at retailers throughout the state. The fee will range from 35 cents to $1.60, depending on paint container size.

DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said the plan “will allow residents to drop off unwanted paint to be recycled or safely disposed at convenient locations across Connecticut. Once the program begins, municipalities will save thousands of dollars in disposal costs and a resource that was once almost exclusively placed in the garbage will now be turned into useful products.”

Esty said PaintCare, paint retailers, local governments and environmental groups deserve credit for working on the new program.

The drop-off sites

Most of the new PaintCare drop-off sites will be at paint retailers that are open year-round. This will reduce the need for homeowners, paint contractors and others with unwanted paint to rush out to participate in their municipal one-day only household hazardous waste collection events in their area.

Waste transfer stations and select municipal household hazardous waste locations across Connecticut also will serve as drop-off sites.

Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based PaintCare, is excited that paint will be disposed of in an environmentally beneficial way through the plan.

“The positive support and feedback we’ve received from the state Legislature, the DEEP, the municipal household waste programs, the paint retail industry, and the local chapter of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America has been overwhelming,” Zarrehparvar said.

For more information on PaintCare and paint recycling in Connecticut, go to