FY2003 OSWER Innovation Pilot Results Fact Sheet
National Paint Product
Stewardship Dialogue
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste and
Emergency Response initiated a series of innovative pilot projects to test
ideas and strategies for improved environmental and public health results.
This series of fact sheets highlights the innovative approaches, results, and
environmental and economic benefits from the pilot projects that may be
replicated across various sectors, industries, communities, and regions.
EPA awarded an Innovation grant to the Product Stewardship
institute (PSI) to develop a nationally coordinated system
for reducing, reusing, recycling and/or properly disposing of
leftover paint, It was hoped that this initiative could serve as
an important model for product stewardship and collaborative
environmental problem solving. The process developed by
PSI provides an innovative and effective mode! for a nationally
coordinated approach that could be applied to a number of
other household hazardous wastes and consumer products.
In 2003, it was estimated that more than 350 million gallons
of leftover paint were generated each year in the U.S. At that
time, leftover paint was the largest volume material collected by
most household hazardous waste (HHW) collection programs
and represented a high cost for state and local governments
to manage. State and local agencies have turned to product
manufacturers, retailers, and other potential partners to become
part of the solution by practicing product stewardship. Product
stewardship is a principle that directs all participants involved
in the product lifecycle to share responsibility for reducing the
human health and environmental impacts of a product, From a
lifecycle perspective, the recovery and use of leftover paint as
a substitute for raw materials in the paint production process
could significantly reduce environmental and economic impacts
associated with material extraction, processing and end-of-life
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) began working with
U.S. EPA, state and local governments, manufacturers, retailers,
paint recyclers, paint contractors, and environmental/consumer
advocates to develop leftover paint management solutions that
were both financially and environmentally sustainable.
Initiated in 2003, U.S. EPA Region 9, in partnership with PSI,
facilitated a national paint stewardship dialogue, reaching
agreement among government officials, manufacturers,
•	Facilitated the first Paint Memorandum of Agreement
(MOU) among dialogue participants that set the stage
for the development of an industry-funded, nationally
coordinated leftover paint management system.
•	Raised over $1,2 million to complete key dialogue
projects identified by the pilot—the largest joint
fundraising effort at the time in the U.S. for product
•	Developed networks through the dialogue process that
led to creative partnerships, such as a group of 27
towns in New Hampshire establishing a pilot project
with the Paint Recycling Company (PRC) of Canada
to collect, consolidate, and ship leftover latex and
oil paints and stains to the PRC recycling facility in
Canada, And the Chittenden Solid Waste District in
Vermont made an agreement with the PRC to collect
and recycle waste paint from Chittenden.
retailers, painting contractors, and other participants on how
to reduce paint waste; efficiently collect, reuse, and recycle
leftover paint; increase markets for recycled paint (including
non-paint products); and develop a sustainable financing
system to cover any resulting end-of-life management costs for
past and future products,
Pilot partners identified and contacted stakeholders involved
with the manufacture, sale, use, collection, recycling, and
disposal of paint, Those stakeholders shared their interests
and perspectives on the issues and solutions for improving
the management of leftover paint, From December 2003
through September 2004, the pilot partners held a series of
four dialogue meetings in cities across the U.S. including
Boston, Sacramento, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The
key outcomes of these meetings included: the establishment
of multiple work groups; agreement on nine key projects

needed for the development of a nationally coordinated paint
management system; an agreement between participants to
continue the dialogue for an additional two years; participants'
agreement to fund and provide in-kind technical support for
these projects; and general agreement on the process to
manage the projects and the associated dialogue.
More than 55 dialogue participants—comprised of
manufacturers, contractors, recyclers, retailers, local and state
governments, EPA, and industry associations—participated
in the national dialogue aimed at reducing the generation
of leftover paint, while increasing reuse and recycling
opportunities. Forty of these participants were interviewed
and from the interviews, two documents were developed: a
background technical document—reported by many participants
to be the best single source of information related to leftover
paint—and a Paint Product Stewardship Action Plan, which
guided the dialogue phase of the project. The pilot-facilitated
national dialogue also resulted in the first Paint MOU, which
was signed or endorsed by over 60 participants including EPA,
state and local agencies, paint manufacturers, retailers, and
Pilot partners raised over $1.2 million to complete key projects,
the largest U.S. joint fundraising effort for product stewardship
at the time. Completed from 2005 to 2007, these key projects
included: the development of a recycled paint standard
with Green Seal, a nonprofit that provides science-based
environmental certification standards, to increase recycled
paint markets; a lifecycle assessment and cost-benefit analysis
comparing leftover latex paint drying and disposal to reuse
and recycling; a study to determine the infrastructure and cost
needed to collect, consolidate, transport, and recycle leftover
paint; and a guidance manual for leftover paint programs.
Supported by over 200 dialogue participants, an historic
agreement was signed in October 2007 by paint manufacturers,
government agencies, paint recyclers, painting contractors, and
other participants. The agreement called for the establishment
of an industry-funded and nationally coordinated paint
management system, beginning with a one-year statewide
demonstration program in Oregon.
In July 2009, the Governor of Oregon signed the Oregon
Paint Stewardship Program into law, which requires paint
manufacturers to collect, transport and safely manage leftover
Lead: Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 9
Other Partners:
•	Paint manufacturers and retailers
•	State and local government agencies
•	Nonprofit organizations
•	Painting contractors
•	Universities
OSWER Innovation Projects:
EPA Product Stewardship - Paint:
Product Stewardship Institute:
latex and oil-based paint in an environmentally sound and
cost-effective manner. This was the first time paint producer
responsibility legislation was passed at the state level in the
U.S. Oregon's paint stewardship law, which will be in effect
on July 1, 2010, is expected to save local governments
approximately $6 million in either direct costs or additional
paint management services. Funding for the program will be
generated from a recovery fee applied to the purchase price
of each unit of paint sold in Oregon. PaintCare, a nonprofit
organization and project partner, will set up and run the
statewide program enabling many residents in Oregon who
currently do not have access to a program to more easily
return, reuse and recycle left-over paint.
Following the completion of the demonstration program in
Oregon and a detailed evaluation, the system will be rolled out
to a number of additional states (e.g., Connecticut, Vermont,
California, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, and
Washington) over the next few years, with the ultimate goal of
national implementation.
A	United States
Environmental Protection
* m Agency
OSWER Innovation Pilot Results Fact Sheet — July 2010
National Paint Product Stewardship Dialogue