Legislature to Roll Out New Paint Recycle Plan
Monday, December 22, 2014
Posted by: Anne Piacentino
Source: King 5 News
SEATTLE -- King County officials are supporting a bill proposed for the next state legislative session that would create a statewide paint take-back and recycling program.
Would you like a place to take leftover paint cans that are piling up in your garage, shed or yard? Washington is the only West Coast state without such a program. The legislature has killed past attempts.
The new proposal has the support of paint manufacturers and waste haulers but will still face resistance from legislators who will oppose an assessment fee that will be passed on to consumers.
The legislation would establish a program in which retailers would accept leftover paint from residents and send it to recyclers. The proposed assessment fee would be 75 cents per gallon of paint. There would be no charge for customers returning the paint to any of the participating retailers.
There are similar programs already operating for used light bulbs and other items.
King County Hazardous Waste Program Manager Julie Mitchell said such a program will give residents a clear path to recycling the paint. The county hazardous waste facilities stopped accepting latex paint when it was deemed not hazardous several years ago, but she said people still don't know what to do with it.
"We haven't collected latex paint since 2008, but we've been getting a little over 1,300 calls a year from residents asking what to do with latex paint," Mitchell.
The current advice is to let the paint dry out, fill the can with kitty litter and throw it out with the trash.
Opponents of that program say many residents find it too confusing or don't like the idea of filling up the landfill, so they let the cans fill up their garages or sheds.
Advocates say under this plan, residents would be able to take in old paint to any participating retailers, not just those they bought it from.