Want to recycle used paint in Maine? The state will have you covered.
Maine is set to become the seventh state with a law creating an industry-run collection and recycling program for leftover latex and oil household paint.
Industry data on Maine paint sales indicates the program could result in the collection and environmentally-responsible reuse and recycling of more than 300,000 gallons of paint annually.
The program will be run by PaintCare Inc., a non-profit entity created by the paint industry that manages take-back programs in Oregon and California. Other states that have enacted similar legislation are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Vermont.
The Maine Legislature adopted the measure with strong bipartisan support. Gov. Paul LePage had until June 29 to sign it into law. He let the bill become law without his signature.
In addition to environmental stewardship and convenience, Maine's program will reduce the financial burden of waste management for local governments, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), a non-profit, environmental group that pushed for passage of the law.
"[It] will save money for towns and taxpayers by avoiding the cost of processing unused paint through household hazardous waste cleanup events, which is a costly way to handle used paint," NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim said in a statement.
Similar programs have proven successful. In its first year of operation in Oregon, 470,000 gallons of paint were collected along with 47 tons of plastic paint containers and 65 tons of metal paint cans. The Portland Oregon Metro regional government also saved more than $1 million in avoided costs.
"We look forward to building on our experience in Oregon and California to launch a program in Maine that not only works for the paint industry, but also meets the public's need for convenience, efficiency, and cost effectiveness," Alison Keane, vice president for the American Coatings Association (ACA), said in a statement.
Maine's law is based on a model designed by the Product Stewardship Institute that assigns the responsibility of collection, recycling and disposal of used products to the manufacturers. A recycling fee is added to the price of the product to finance the program.
"Maine will benefit from millions of dollars of savings each year for its local governments, increased environmental benefits, and additional recycling jobs," said PSI Chief Executive Officer Scott Cassel in a statement.
Maine's law goes into effect 90 days after adjournment of the Legislature, which is expected to be July 9. Program implementation will begin in mid-2015.