Paint. It is a product that many Washingtonians have sitting in their basement, barn or garage. Currently, we are instructed to dry out leftover latex paint and throw it in the garbage. This is wasteful and harmful to the environment. We are currently losing a valuable resource in leftover paint that can be recycled and re-sold into the marketplace. The Washington State Legislature should pass the paint stewardship bill so we have a statewide paint recycling program.
Paint recycling programs have already been passed and implemented in eight states. Miller Paint is proud to support the creation of a paint recycling program here in Washington — joining with Oregon, California, and others in recycling leftover latex paint and properly disposing of oil-based paint.
This program will benefit our communities, creating local jobs and opportunities, while helping to protect the environment. In Oregon and the other PaintCare states, the implementation of paint recycling has led to more jobs in the transportation and recycling sectors.
There is a market for recycled paint. It is in high-demand by our Miller Paint customers. We sell an average of about 75,000 gallons of MetroPaint’s recycled latex paint a year and in 2015, we passed the 300,000 gallon mark of MetroPaint sold. The recycled MetroPaint product sells at approximately $11-$12 a gallon compared with $30 or more for a new gallon of paint. It provides a low cost, good quality alternative for customers looking for a recycled paint option.
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This program is user-friendly for the consumer. If a customer has unused paint, they can take it back to a participating retail collection site, like many of our Miller Paint stores in Oregon. The program has created more foot traffic in our stores and has provided easier drop off locations for the consumers.
The popularity of the recycled paint has my company exploring the possibility of starting a paint reprocessing plant if the Washington Legislature passes the program. If Miller Paint were to open a paint re-processor in Washington, we would hire local employees to sort, mix, and recycle the paint.
Recycling paint helps protect the environment. The paint recycling program in Oregon, called PaintCare, has kept 1.5 million gallons of leftover paint from going to the landfill.
As a resident of southwest Washington, and the CEO of Miller Paint, I know this program will create business opportunities and benefit residents. It is easy for consumers; it is good for the economy; and it is right for the environment. I urge the Legislature to pass the paint recycling bill.
Steve Dearborn is chief executive of Miller Paint, which operates in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.