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Spring cleaning? Don't throw away your paint

With the recent turn of the season, many people are getting around to spring cleaning in their garage and home.

For those about to toss out half-used paint cans that are no longer needed, consider recycling it instead. That turns it from a potential toxic waste to a reusable resource that brightens other peoples’ homes.

Under the PaintCare program launched in Oregon in 2010, and since expanded to other states, purchasers of paint pay a surcharge used to cover recycling costs by paint dealers and others. Twenty-seven additional drop-off sites in the Portland area have been added in recent months, making it easier than ever to recycle paint.

Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, uses some of the discarded paint to re-mix and sell to the public under its innovative MetroPaint program.

“Prior to PaintCare we were spending quite a bit of money to manage all the paint that we collected,” says Jim Quinn, Metro’s hazardous waste manager. “But the advent of PaintCare in 2010 shifted our bottom line by about a million dollars – in the right direction.“

To find a PaintCare drop-off site for old paint near you, check: www.paintcare.org/oregon/.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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