We all know that paint is something we can’t just toss in our regular trash. Paint should not be sent to a landfill. What we don’t know is how easy it’s become to recycle paint. Just this past weekend I was driving around town listening to KPBS San Diego and heard a commercial by Paintcare.org. They claimed recycling paint was easy and that they setup hundreds of locations for proper paint disposal in California. I was so excited to hear this so I went to their website to do some research. This is what I found:
There are 32 locations that accept paint in San Diego County. Most of these are paint stores who have volunteered to accept paint through the PaintCare Program.
Restrictions: Each store sets their own limit. Some stores will accept 5 gallons and others will accept up to 100 gallons at a time. Please call the stores before you bring your paint to check their hours and find out if they can accept your amount of paint. All PaintCare locations accept latex and oil-based house paint, stains and varnish — NOT aerosols or containers that are larger than 5 gallons, empty, leaking, or unlabeled.
There are no costs for dropping off your paint. This program is funded by a fee on new paint sales. The program allows you to bring all brands of old paint, and the paint can be 20 years old.
You basically need to visit this page http://www.paintcare.org/california/index.php#consumers to get answers on the disposal options and/or download this flyer.
What Paint Can’t Be Accepted?
The commercial didn’t say much about what can’t be accepted so I decided to call my contact at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. I was told that paint which contains heavy metals such as cadmium and barium are considered hazardous waste. This program is for liquid paint. (Latex paint that is dried solid (hard as a rock) can be disposed of in the regular trash.) The facilities listed do not accept other hazardous waste (thinners, pesticides, etc.)
Collection Guidance Document
If you really want to know the specific laws regarding the collection, recycling, and disposal of hazardous waste paint then download this document.
I hope this information helps and if you find that this article needs updating please do not hesitate to let me know!