Oregon Paint Collection Program Bolstered by Bill Passage


House Bill 2048 amends PaintCare program, makes product stewardship program more convenient for consumers, eliminates 2014 sunset


A program that allows Oregonians to return discarded paint to retailers and waste collection programs for proper disposal will be bolstered through the Oregon Legislature’s recent passage of House Bill 2048, the paint product stewardship bill. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality worked with stakeholders representing local governments, the solid waste industry and paint industry on the bill to improve the collection and recovery of discarded paint.

The bill eliminates a 2014 sunset for Oregon’s PaintCare program, which launched three years ago and allows consumers to bring unused paint back to participating retailers and local waste programs. DEQ oversees the program, which is managed by the paint manufacturing industry and paid for by Oregonians who buy paint. The program complements and expands on the current network of local waste collection programs. Oregon was the first state in the nation to operate a paint product stewardship program. Legislation initiating similar programs has since passed in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont.

“This bill helps improve Oregon’s existing program in many ways, but certainly consumers will find it more convenient and easier to understand,” said Abby Boudouris, DEQ materials management policy analyst.

Visit DEQ’s website for more information on PaintCare and how it operates, plus information on legislatively approved program improvements,

The bill and its amendments will bolster customer convenience, PaintCare’s accountability for meeting collection and reporting goals, and DEQ’s ability to oversee program operations and compliance, Boudouris said.

Collection: Collection improvements will ensure that 95 percent of Oregonians will be within 15 miles of a collection site. Collection events will be available for those outside a 15-mile radius. PaintCare will add to the approximately 100 collection sites now operating in Oregon, beginning this year. About 130 sites will be operating in 2014.

Program accountability: PaintCare, which is operated by the paint industry, will be required to produce or amend plans outlining goals for reducing leftover latex paint, recycling rates for latex paint, and meeting certain levels of program public awareness. PaintCare must annually report to DEQ on the volume of paint collected and its disposition/recycling. It also must provide detailed information on its program operations, progress in responding to performance issues, and the amount of each type of paint collected at each collection point.

Budget: PaintCare plans submitted to DEQ must include a four-year budget that takes into account education and outreach; collection, transportation and processing; administrative costs, reserve funds and DEQ administrative fees. Funds for the state’s overseeing of the program will increase from $10,000 a year to $40,000.

Education and outreach: PaintCare must bolster its promotion of the program to both consumers and participating retailers, including providing educational materials to both groups. Retailers will be required to provide educational materials to consumers at time of sale.

Enforcement: DEQ will now have the authority to issue monetary penalties to retailers, paint producers or stewardship organizations who don’t meet program requirements. Before, DEQ only had the ability to issue compliance orders to address program deficiencies.

Report to the Legislature: DEQ must submit a report on the PaintCare program to the 2018 Oregon Legislature. DEQ must also submit annual estimates of paint collected throughout the state (by geographic “wastesheds” or metro service districts), and hold an annual meeting for parties interested in the PaintCare program.

“Oregon’s groundbreaking paint stewardship program has been a tremendous success, increasing the amount of paint diverted from disposal, saving local governments millions of dollars, creating more recycling jobs in the state, and making recycling leftover paint easier for residents,” said Scott Cassel, chief executive officer of the Product Stewardship Institute, which was instrumental in developing the model policy upon which Oregon’s paint program is based. “As the nation’s very first paint program of its kind, it has also encountered problems, which this legislation will address, helping to make this an even better program moving forward.”

Facts about paint collection in Oregon:

  • In 2011, the volume of paint and paint containers collected in Oregon was 7.5 million pounds. That was up about 50 percent from the 5.0 million pounds in 2009, before the PaintCare program started.
  • Paint is typically the largest material by volume collected at household hazardous waste events, resulting in significant expenses for locally funded waste collection programs.
  • Oregon became the first state with an architectural paint product stewardship law. Architectural paint is latex and oil-based paint for use on house interiors and exteriors and other structures.
  • In order to sell architectural paint in Oregon, the manufacturer of the paint must participate in a product stewardship program such as PaintCare.
  • The PaintCare program does not include paint from aerosol cans or industrial paint such as automotive.
  • Consumers currently pay a fee of 75 cents per gallon (varying according to container size) on paint to support program costs. DEQ reviews and approves this fee amount.
  • Most of the paint collected is recycled in the Portland area through the MetroPaint program operated by Metro, the regional government in the Portland metropolitan area.

DEQ’s Product Stewardship web page: www.deq.state.or.us/lq/sw/prodstewardship/paint.htm


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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