Oregon Passes Paint Recycling Bill

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is teaming up with paint manufacturers to offer state-wide paint recycling as early as January 2010.

The program will start as a four-year pilot and will be operated by manufacturers. It will particularly focus on areas that currently offer no paint disposal options, which includes one-third of the state’s 36 counties.

Photo: Myzerowaste.com

Many HHW programs screen the paint as it comes in. Those cans with labels intact that are more than half full and fairly clean are put directly into a reuse, swap or exchange program and given away to the public. Photo: Myzerowaste.com

Paint disposal options depend on the ingredients. Latex paint can be recycled into new paint or used as an additive for different products, whereas oil-based paint is typically treated as hazardous waste and may be burned for fuel. In Oregon, it is the most common household hazardous waste.

Oregon presented similar take-back recycling programs for batteries, medications and mercury bulbs this year, but all failed to advance.

Both batteries and mercury bulbs are classified by the EPA as universal waste, which many states have banned from landfills. Last year, Oregon developed a manufacturer-led program to recycle electronics.

The paint recycling bill is still awaiting approval from Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Though Kulongoski is expected to sign, in June a similar bill in Texas passed in the House but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Paint was the fifth most common search term in Earth911’s recycling database for 2008.

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