Recycle your unused paint with PaintCare

Did you know that about 10 percent of the paint purchased each year in the United States goes unused? That means about 65 million gallons of paint is available for recycling, but much of it is either sitting in storage or being discarded each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 46th annual Earth Day is a perfect time to think about how you dispose of your leftover paints and stains. PaintCare offers homeowners and businesses a convenient and environmentally friendly way to dispose of paint, stain and varnish. 

Paint manufacturers created the nonprofit stewardship organization to run programs to collect and recycle paint in individual states. Through PaintCare, the paint industry sets up drop-off locations for unused paint, arranges for recycling and proper disposal of the paint and conducts outreach about proper paint management.

PaintCare currently operates paint recycling programs in eight states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. The District of Columbia program starts in September. The program is only possible when a state passes a paint stewardship law, so the paint industry is working with officials to bring the program to more states in the coming years.

In PaintCare states, many local paint retailers and hardware stores participate and volunteer to serve as drop-off locations. The program also works with waste or recycling companies and government-run household hazardous waste collection facilities.

You can drop off all brands of unwanted house paint, stain or varnish that are labeled and in the original container, whether they are new or 20 years old, at any PaintCare location.

Learn more about small steps you can take to paint smarter:

  1. Buy right: Decide how much and what kind of paint you need.
  2. Store right: Keep your paint in a dry location.
  3. Use it up: Peruse ideas for what to do with leftovers.
  4. Donate it: Find out if someone else can use the paint.
  5. Recycle it: Take your old paint to a PaintCare location.

Find a PaintCare drop-off location