SACRAMENTO, CA – Caroll Mortensen, Director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), approved the PaintCare California Architectural Paint Stewardship Program Plan on July 19 on behalf of the State of California. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation for the plan into law in September 2010. The paint industry, through the American Coatings Association, designed the program. PaintCare Inc., representing paint manufacturers, submitted the program plan on their behalf.

The new law requires paint manufacturers to create and fund a convenient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible program to manage post-consumer paint (unused or leftover paint). The plan is modeled after PaintCare’s successful pilot program in Oregon that launched two years ago and was the first of its kind in the United States. PaintCare’s California Paint Stewardship Program will launch in October of this year.

PaintCare’s programs are funded by a minimal “recovery fee” added to the purchase price of paint, which will be the same in California as in Oregon. The funds are used to set up convenient architectural paint drop-off sites, recycling of returned leftover paint, and for public education and outreach about the program.

“Oregonians generally felt the fee was reasonable, and we are glad that the fee structure will be the same in California,” said Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, Executive Director for PaintCare. “Residents, painting contractors and other businesses will be able to use the program for recycling most of their leftover unused paint with no additional costs when they drop it off.”

PaintCare’s ambitious plan is to establish hundreds of permanent drop-off sites throughout California within two years. Oregon’s program has 100 drop-off sites and collects about half a million gallons of architectural paint each year.

Due to the success of the program, other states have passed similar paint stewardship legislation. PaintCare will launch programs in Connecticut in 2013 and Rhode Island in 2014.