Across the U.S., Cities, States and Counties are burdened with the disposal and recycling costs associated with oil and latex paint remaining from construction and home improvement projects. Commonly brought to Household Hazardous Waste Events, annual disposal costs in Connecticut were greater than $500,00. Oil-based paints and stains comprise more that 30% of incoming material to HHW collections in Connecticut. Many households simply retain and store unused paint for extended periods of time, creating less than ideal conditions in the home. Like many states and regions Connecticut historically promoted the drying and disposal of Latex Paint, driven in large part by the need to conserve HHW budgets for more critical materials. This simply added to refuse costs without capturing a material with reuse potential. Based on the hazardous waste profile of oil based paints and the recyclability of latex paints , architectural paints were an item waiting for a solution.

The national Product Stewardship Institute, based in Boston MA convened a dialogue in 2003 with the paint industry and governments across the country on a paint extended producer responsibility lawn. Connecticut was a participant in that dialogue. In 2008 eight regions and towns in Connecticut pooled financial resources to get this effort underway. The American Coatings Association (ACA) worked with Connecticut to enact Product Stewardship Legislation. Oregon led the nation with the first paint stewardship pilot, followed by California. The programs enacted by these early pioneers in paint stewardship helped forge Connecticut’s legislative program. The ACA worked closely with Connecticut to enact the first paint product stewardship legislation in New England. First introduced in 2010, paint stewardship became law in 2011 with Pubic Act 11-24. The ACA established a non-profit corporation Paintcare, to administer paint stewardship programs in Connecticut and other states.

Connecticut’s program incorporates a strong residential convenience structure that employs a three (3) pronged approach for paint recycling and disposal.
1. Traditional HHW collections will now separate targeted, architectural paints for rerouting to Paintcare’s designated facilities, all at no cost to public HHW programs.
2. Retail paint stores may voluntarily participate to accept back paints and stains from the public.
3. Municipal transfer stations may also decide to incorporated Paints and Stains into the array of materials they now accept for recycling and disposal. Participation is voluntary.

Paintcare provides for training, storage containers for paint, transportation and disposal. Retail paint sales contain a fee assessment which pays for program costs through Paintcare. Connecticut’s HHW program relies on two Paintcare approved vendors. Post-consumer paint captured at Town transfer stations and retailers are serviced by one company.  To learn more about Paintcare visit their website:

–  Manufacturers must register with the Connecticut DEEP. Retailers may only sell products from entities that are so registered. Manufacturers must underwrite the costs associated with the transportation and recycling of their products.

The experience of Connecticut and other States passing Extended Product Stewardship legislation may prove beneficial for states considering a similar path. The CPSC has provided a link to the testimony associated with our efforts in Connecticut to pass Public Act 11-24

[Click Here to view CT Public Act 11-24]