STANISLAUS COUNTY -- A state recycling program has designated eight sites in Stanislaus County for collecting unused household paint.
In Modesto, the Kelly Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Vista, Dunn-Edwards and Glidden Professional paint stores are the drop-off locations for the California Paint Stewardship Program, which began in October. Other collection sites include the Kelly Moore stores in Salida and Turlock and the Sherwin- Williams in Patterson.
Cans containing leftover paint can be dropped off free of charge. To fund the program, customers pay fees added to the purchase price of paint sold in California. There is no fee for a half-pint or less, but the fees are 35 cents when buying more than a half-pint but less than a gallon, 75 cents a gallon or $1.60 when purchasing more than a gallon, up to five gallons.
The recycling program was established by Assembly Bill 1343 in 2010 and is operated by a nonprofit organization created by U.S. paint manufacturers. It is supposed to make paint recycling more convenient and keep the toxic chemicals in paint out of landfills.
The Home Depot and other large home improvement outlets are not participating as drop-off sites because of the large volume of leftover paint that might be returned. The locations in Stanislaus County are smaller paint dealers, and most have a limit on how many cans can be brought in per customer.
"We allow five gallons a day per customer because the bin fills up pretty fast," said Craig Truett, manager of the Kelly Moore on McHenry Avenue. Since October, the store has filled about five bins capable of holding 100 gallon cans of paint.
Once the bins are full, the leftover paint is taken to recyclers in Northern California.
"It has been great so far," Truett said. "We might have someone bring in (leftover) paint who might not have been to the store and we may pick up some business."
According to the website for PaintCare, the nonprofit unning the program, other drop-off sites in the county have 20-can limits.
"Probably every other day, someone is bringing in 10 to 12 gallon cans," said Craig Woodhead of the Sherwin-Williams store in Modesto. "They can call ahead if they have large quantities. If it's just a gallon or two, they don't need to call ahead."
The leftover paint is accepted during business hours no after-hours drop-offs are allowed. The law established a permanent program, so there is no hurry for people to take their unused paint to the drop-off sites, said Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, executive director of PaintCare.
"It's OK for someone to wait a couple of weeks to get rid of the paint cans in their garage," said the director, who's always concerned about collection sites being overwhelmed when the program is publicized.
The program also makes arrangements to pick up large quantities of unused paint from contractors. In addition, PaintCare hopes to enter a contract to cart away the paint collected by Stanislaus County's household hazardous waste program, thereby reducing the county's disposal costs.
Residents can take leftover paint and other household hazardous materials to the Stanislaus County drop-off site at 1710 Morgan Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. And the county will continue to hold community household hazardous waste collection events.
A portion of the county's waste facility "tipping fees" pays for disposal of hazardous waste, but with the stewardship program, the fees on the sale of paint cover the costs of taking the unused coatings to recyclers.
The highest-quality paint may be blended back into recycled paint products sold in retail stores; other leftover paint may go into fuel products, Zarrehparvar said. PaintCare has more than 400 drop-off sites in California. The industry-supported program got its start in Oregon, and Connecticut and Rhode Island are adopting the approach.
For more information, call the PaintCare hot line at (855) 724-6809. Find a leftover paint drop-off site by going to www.paintcare.org and typing in your ZIP code.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.
WHERE TO GO
Unused paint collection sites in Stanislaus County are at these locations during business hours:
Kelly Moore Paint Co.
1004 McHenry Ave.
3301 McHenry Ave.
1944 W. Orangeburg Ave.
2000 W. Orangeburg Ave.
1447 Coldwell Ave.
5382 Pirrone Road
2100 W. Monte Vista Ave.
1065 Sperry Ave.
On the Net: www.paintcare.org