California Steps Up Paint Disposal and Recycling Efforts


photo credit: Mark Evans/istock

California, already a leader in both environmental progress and state debt, is now trying to lead in paint disposal and recycling. San Joaquin County is developing a statewide paint program to reduce the estimated 8-million gallons of leftover paint the state generates each year. The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has awarded the county $400,000 to design a program to teach consumers how to shop for just the right amount of paint, how to store extra, and provide recycling options. For all paint that cannot be reduced or reused, they say, the project will increase the collection of unused paint for recycling.

According to the San Joaquin County Solid Waste press release:

Studies show that many consumers purchase too much paint, leading to large volumes of leftover paint. California local governments spend approximately $16 million annually to collect unused paint through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs. Taxpayers and garbage rate payers spend about $8 per gallon to operate these programs. Because of the high cost, the CIWMB is interested in finding long-term solutions that will reduce system costs by addressing source reduction first, then reuse and recycling.

San Joaquin County will work with both Tehama and San Francisco counties to implement the project.

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