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Local business offers Paint recycling

For many, the passing of Earth Day April 22 serves as a reminder to be a bit more planet-friendly in daily practices.

One way to do that, particularly during the spring cleaning season, is to recycle old paint and Sherwin-Williams is the newest paint retailer in The Dalles to become a part of the PaintCare Oregon paint recycling program.

“More people are hearing about us being a recycling center and taking advantage of getting rid of old paint,” said Janell Newstel, Sherwin-Williams assistant manager. The store is located at 521 Mt. Hood Street.

The program is for leftover paint that owners don’t expect to use in the future.

“The container just has to be closed,” Newstel said. “Bring it to the store and let us know you have it. We can go out to the care and pick it up for you. That’s all you need to do. It can be either water- or oil-based paint.”

PaintCare Oregon, also known as the Oregon Architectural Paint Stewardship Program, started as a temporary program in 2010 to make recycling leftover paint more convenient. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill making it permanent in July 2013. Since that time, it has expanded by 40 percent, now collecting 500,000 gallons of post-architectural paint each year.

Oregon was a testing ground for the recycling program, helping to pave the way for California and Connecticut to start programs of their own, according to PaintCare’s program manager, Roy Weedman. Four more programs are expected to start soon and even more states are expected to follow Oregon’s lead by passing their own paint stewardship laws this year.

“This program helps everyone — residents have more places to bring their paint, paint stores are seeing an increase in their foot traffic and sales, and government programs save money,” Weedman said. “A great example of our success has been our relationship with Metro.”

When PaintCare started the pilot program in 2010, MetroPaint was hired to be the primary recycler of latex paint collected at most PaintCare sites in Oregon. Jim Quinn, manager of Metro’s hazardous waste program, said Metro officials are big advocates of the program. They lobbied aggressively to make it permanent.

“Prior to PaintCare, we were spending quite a bit of money to manage all the paint that we collected,” Quinn said. “But the advent of PaintCare in 2010 shifted our bottom line by about a million dollars — in the right direction. We see this as an excellent model for how to handle other hazardous materials from homes. It’s convenient and it’s adequately funded.”

PaintCare’s funding, provided by a nominal fee applied ot the purchase price of all house paint, stains, varnish and a few other products sold in Oregon, pays for the transportation and processing of these same products when they become leftovers and are taken to PaintCare sites.

Newstel emphasized that the program is for old paint people are no longer going to need, not empty cans.

“We’re recycling the old material that could still be used again,” she said.

Sherwin-Williams is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 6.

“Any day of the week is acceptable to drop off paint,” Newstel said, noting that they take all brands. She hopes people will check out the store’s products while they’re there.

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