In order to promote the proper management and recycling of paint, the Vermont Legislature passed Paint Product Stewardship Legislation (Act 58) in May 2013. This legislation implements a Paint Stewardship Program that began on May 1, 2014. Under this program, manufacturers are responsible for collecting and managing leftover architectural paint (both oil and latex) through a stewardship organization called PaintCare. PaintCare is a Stewardship Organization for the American Coatings Association and will implement the paint stewardship program for paint manufacturers in Vermont. This program will allow for free paint recycling/disposal at many convenient locations throughout the state such as paint retailers, recycling centers, hazardous waste facilities and collection events. It is funded by a small fee included at the point of sale of paint cans throughout the state.
Vermont Paint Stewardship Program Information:
- Final Vermont Paint Stewardship Program Plan (PDF) August 18, 2017
- ANR Approval Letter for Paint Stewardship Plan October 5, 2017
- Paint Program Summary Sheet
- Act 58 Full Legislation
- Registered Paint Brands in Vermont
- Registered Paint Manufacturers in Vermont
- Program Launch Press Release (PDF) April 2014
- Fact Sheet on How Federal Paint Regulations Intersect with PaintCare in VT (PDF) 2014
Visit www.PaintCare.org for more updates and information.
Paint is used on the interior and exteriors of our houses. It is used to change the color and to protect the surface from sun and water damage. Paint is a mixture of resins, solvents, additives, and pigments. There are two types of paint depending on the base liquid. These are oil (oil/alkyd-based) or latex (water based).
Oil paints are more hazardous than latex paints due to their petroleum base and require a solvent-like turpentine to clean up. Latex paint is easier to work with, to clean up (soap and water), and it is not as harmful to human health and the environment if handled properly. Oil and latex paints are now made for both interior and exterior uses.
Older paints may contain harmful heavy metals, such as lead and mercury. Lead was used as a drying agent and pigment in oil based paints as well as some latex paints. In 1978, the US Product Safety Commission reduced the maximum lead content in paint to only trace amounts (not harmful). Older homes from 1940-1960 may contain paint that has large amounts of lead in it. Mercury was added to paints (interior and exterior, latex and oil) as a fungicide to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew on painted surfaces. Mercury use in paints is now prohibited but many paints are still around that may contain mercury.
Oil paints give off large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs contribute to air pollution, and can cause liver and kidney damage after long-term exposure. Oil paint is flammable, making storage and handling difficult. Latex paint also contains some resins and additives that when applied in a closed room can cause irritation to the eyes and lungs. Many of the resins, pigments, and additives are also toxic to aquatic animals when the paint ends up in the water supply.
Proper recycling and/or disposal of paint lessens harmful impact on our environment and is a better use of resources.
- Store all of your paint in a temperature controlled room. Freezing temperatures can cause paint to go bad.
- Latex paint can be recycled. See the link below for a location or a collection event near you. If none of these options are yet available to you, your latex paint can be dried and thrown in the trash as a last resort. Remember- Do not ever dry oil paint. The VOCs are a source of air pollution.
- Do not dump liquid paint down drains or in the trash.
- Oil paint must be used up or brought to a local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility or event.
Where to take HHW:
Towns and solid waste districts hold hazardous waste collection events every year, two per year at minimum (spring and fall) and many common household hazardous wastes can be disposed of at these events. For more information and event scheduling, contact your solid waste district. Find contact information on the solid waste district contact list page. (Note: If you live in a village, fire district, etc., please select the town your village, fire district, etc. is in from the list. If your town is not a member of a district, contact information for your town clerk is provided.)
See www.paintcare.org for additional drop off locations.