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Rochester There’s A Place to Recycle Your Leftover Paint

In the Community: PaintCare

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A new paint recycling program has launched in Rochester, New York, that invites households, schools, and businesses to recycle leftover paint, stain and varnish conveniently and sustainably.

The program will make it easier and safer to recycle leftover paint at convenient drop-off sites located throughout Monroe County

The program is operated by PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created by the paint industry through the American Coatings Association (ACA) to manage leftover paint in states that have enacted paint stewardship laws.

“We’re excited to launch our paint stewardship program in Rochester so that households, businesses and institutions can drop off leftover paint at their convenience, all year long,” said Andrew Radin, PaintCare’s New York program manager. “We’re grateful for the important role that paint and hardware stores, as well as local government facilities, will play in making sure this environmental initiative is successful by voluntarily serving as drop-off sites. We look forward to adding additional partners in the coming months as we aim to recover and recycle over one million gallons of leftover paint each year.”

PaintCare plans to expand to over 300 drop-off sites across New York State in the coming months through partnerships with paint retail stores and local government facilities.

Since May 1, 16 drop-off sites in the immediate Rochester area have opened, with additional locations in nearby Ontario, Genesee and Steuben counties. PaintCare’s website features a Drop-off Site Locator function with information on each site’s address, hours and requirements.

The sites accept up to five gallons of paint from customers. Anyone planning to drop off paint are encouraged to call ahead to ensure the site can accept the amount and type of paint they want to recycle.

The program’s oversight will be provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

PaintCare has launched successful programs across the country following passage of similar laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.  

There is no cost to when dropping off unwanted paint for recycling. A small fee on the sale of new paint—called the PaintCare fee—funds all aspects of the program including paint collection, transportation, processing and public education.  

The new program is expected to manage more than 1.1 million gallons of paint in its first year. In New York, 36.6 million gallons of paint are sold annually, and it is estimated that about 10 percent of household paint goes unused. PaintCare helps ensure the “highest, best use” for paint collected in the program, including giving away good quality material as-is, recycling it, or putting it to another beneficial use. To date, PaintCare has processed more than 50 million gallons of paint nationally and saved state and local governments millions of dollars.

“Paint products can harm the environment if not managed properly,” said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York State’s Paint Stewardship Program will simplify the process for those looking to dispose of paint by providing a collection network of paint retailers, local government facilities, and reuse stores at more than 300 drop-off sites across the state.”

“We are so proud of how far we’ve come together,” said Scott Cassel, PSI’s chief executive officer. “New York will now benefit from millions of dollars of local government savings each year, increased environmental benefits and additional recycled paint manufacturing jobs.”

“We are so pleased that paint recycling is now a reality for New York,” said Dawn Timm, chair of the New York Product Stewardship Council. “This program is a big step forward for product stewardship in the state. It’s also a testament to the dedication and perseverance of a diverse set of New York stakeholders from government, industry, and nonprofit communities.”

To learn more about becoming a drop-off site, reach out to Kelsey O’Toole, PaintCare’s New York Program Coordinator at

Visit or by calling PaintCare’s hotline number at (855) PAINT09.for more information about the program or to find a nearby drop-off site.