Recycling program helps Portlanders reuse paint

Recycling program helps Portlanders reuse paint

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 7:52 PM

PORTLAND -- It's easier than ever in Oregon to recycle your old paint and it may actually save you money the next time you paint.

Every year, more than 350,000 gallons of latex paint come into Metro’s paint recycling facility on Swan Island.

The paint is sorted, filtered and, after a quality check, it is put back into cans and then re-sold at a bargain price.

Michelle Johnston uses recycled paint for just about every painting project.

“If I was to buy that five-gallon bucket at a store, it's 120 bucks… I just spent $42,” she said, pointing to a bucket of recycled paint in her trunk.

It's all part of a program called PaintCare Oregon.

“Last year, between 65 and 66 percent of the latex collected in Oregon was turned back into recycled content latex paint,” said Roy Weedman, project manager.

Here’s how it works: You bring your old paint to one of 130 drop-off sites across the state of Oregon.

Most of that paint is then brought to the Metro facility, where it’s turned into new paint.

It’s a process Metro pioneered.

“We developed a process that was bigger and better than anything we’d seen anyone before do,” said Jim Quinn, the hazardous waste program manager at Metro.

Oregon’s paint recycling program is definitely stirring up interest. In fact, it’s become so successful that states across the country are jumping on board.

California and Connecticut are already using the program. Five other states plan to start soon.  

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