July marks the one-year anniversary of the nation’s first paint recycling program. PaintCare, the nonprofit organization in charge of administering the state legislated paint recycling program unique to Oregon, compiled statistics to evaluate the program success. 284,086 gallons of paint were collected in the first eight months of the program, and the number continues to grow daily. Of the latex paint collected, 4% went to reuse/exchange; 52% went into recycled content paint; 6% went into cement production; and 38% was sent for biomass or biodegradation. Of the alkyd, 5% went to reuse/exchange and 95% went for fuel blending. In order to drive the program, PaintCare set up 90 collection sites throughout Oregon. The sites are comprised of 65 retailers, 16 local government sites and nine restoration sites (such as Habitat for Humanity Stores). Most retailers report that they are in favor of the program and see their participation as a competitive advantage. In general, consumers said they feel that they are doing the responsible thing by recycling their paint and that the program has given them convenient locations to recycle their paint. “We want to continue to increase our recycling rate and grow the amount of collection sites available to consumers throughout the state,” Alison Keane, Executive Director for PaintCare, said. “Over 60% of paint is currently being recycled, but we think we can do better than that. In addition, we need to continue to work with paint retailers to increase the education process at the point of purchase in order to get the message out about the program and the economic and environmental consequences of paint purchases.” One of the next goals for the PaintCare program is to pass legislation in Washington so the program can become region-wide. The next state program will roll out in California in July 1, 2012, followed by Connecticut in July 2013. PaintCare will manage and oversee all the programs. PaintCare’s Annual Report for Oregon will be available online this September at paintcare.org.

About PaintCare, Inc.

PaintCare is a nonprofit association established to manage the Oregon Paint Stewardship Program, which oversees the reuse, recycling and proper disposal of leftover paint. To learn more about the importance of reusing and recycling your leftover paint,  visit paintcare.org. For a listing of paint recycling centers, visit the PaintCare website or the 1-800-RECYCLING recycling location finder.