About 10 percent of paint purchased in New York goes unused, resulting in about 3.9 million gallons of leftover paint each year in the state, according to the Product Stewardship Council. Unfortunately, options to recycle unused paint at point-of-purchase locations or other locations are limited. Instead of being properly disposed of through periodic household hazardous waste collections, unused paint too often ends up being tossed in the trash, washed down the drain, or incinerated.
This bill establishes a post-consumer paint collection program, requiring manufactures develop a postconsumer paint collection program, importantly, promotes reduction in generation, and reuse and recycling and provides for the collection, transportation, and proper disposal of postconsumer paint using environmental sound management practices.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), collecting unused paint is a significant cost that is borne by the municipalities that run take-back programs. New York municipalities spend an estimated $3.1 million dollars on paint management costs every year. In states that have enacted paint stewardship programs, more than 90% of residents live within 15 miles of a paint collection site, making recycling accessible and convenient. The bill establishes the same standard for accessibility to collection sites.
Paint stewardship legislation has successfully passed into law in eight states and the District of Columbia. New York should enact this legislation and reap the numerous benefits such as increased recycling, reduced government spending, creation of recycling sector jobs, and less waste.
The bill amends Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law to create a paint stewardship program.