It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Maine. Since the start of the Maine paint stewardship program in October 2015, PaintCare has set up 117 convenient locations to drop off paint throughout the state. Most of these sites are at paint retailers (paint, hardware, and home improvement stores) that have volunteered to take back paint, and they are available to any household and business in Maine. These stores accept paint whenever they are open for business
Some PaintCare drop-off sites are household hazardous waste programs, either facilities or “round-up events.” These programs are run by local county or city government agencies, often in partnership with the local garbage and recycling company or transfer station. In addition to paint, these programs usually accept other hazardous wastes such as pesticides or solvents.
Most government programs limit participation to households in certain cities or towns. Some also allow businesses to make appointments during during special hours. Businesses are usually charged fees for non-paint hazardous waste, and sometimes they are charged an administrative fee to schedule an appointment. However, they are not charged for paint on a per gallon basis if the agency is a PaintCare partner.
A few restrictions apply: there are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit. Also, note that certain businesses–those that produce more than 220 pounds (about 20-30 gallons) of hazardous waste per month–can only drop off latex paint (they may not drop off oil-based paint). When you decide it’s time to recycle your paint, please call the site ahead of time to confirm their hours and to make sure they have space to accept the amount of paint you would like to recycle.
Products We Accept
PaintCare sites accept:
- house paint
- clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish)
The architectural paint products we accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” and must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. PaintCare Products must be in their original container with original label and secure lid. PaintCare does not accept spray paint (aerosols) or anything in containers larger than 5 gallons. We cannot accept open or leaking cans. Please review our detailed list of PaintCare Products vs. Non-PaintCare Products.
PaintCare programs are funded by a fee (referred to as the PaintCare fee) which is applied to the purchase price of new paint sold in the state. You may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container of paint you purchase. The fee is paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers. This fee is then added to the wholesale and retail purchase price of paint, passing the cost of managing post-consumer paint to everyone who buys paint.
There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site.
The PaintCare fee is not a tax; it does not go to the state to operate the program The PaintCare fee is also not a deposit; you don’t get it back when you drop off paint–a common misunderstanding.
Fees fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. This includes paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage “legacy” paint, material that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started.
Effective December 1, 2018, sales tax is not applied to the PaintCare fee in Maine. The fees are based on container size as follows:
|Half pint or smaller||$0.00|
|Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon||$0.35|
|Larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons||$1.60|
PaintCare’s program brochure is intended for the general public. To request free paper copies of this brochure for you or others, please contact us at 855-PAINT09. In addition to paint stores, other organizations (e.g., government agencies, real estate agents, property managers, painting contractors) are welcome to order brochures and distribute to others.