MONTPELIER, Vt. - Hundreds of people drove up and dropped off used paint.
“Well it’s obviously convenient and easy,” said Tony Delabruere from Craftsbury.
Delabruere dropped off more than 400 cans of paint that students collected to help fundraise for a trip abroad.
“It’s a safe way to get rid of it. And we are doing it as a fundraising event to help fund the trip to Costa Rica,” said Delabruere.
It's all part of the 'Paint Stewardship Program’ signed into law last year by Governor Peter Shumlin. The goal was to establish a program to collect and recycle old paint. That's where PaintCare stepped in; it's a program run by paint manufacturers to do just that.
“In the past the only way to get rid of paint is to go to the household and hazardous waste days that are usually held twice a year. And most of those are only taking oil based paints. Water based paints everyone is told to dry out and throw away, which it takes a while and is kind of a hassle,” said John Hurd, PaintCare Vermont Program Manager.
After it’s divided up its then taken to a facility where most of it gets recycled. About 90% of it will be turned back into latex paint. And for those oil based paints- that's turned into fuel.
“But then the main part of this program is the full time collection at hardware stores and paint stores,” said Hurd.
Right now more than 30 stores are ready to collect your unwanted paint and in just a few months 15 more will join the ranks.
“This is funded by an upfront fee on every gallon of paint sold in the state of Vermont. So starting May 1st -under a gallon is 35 cents, gallons are at 75 cents. And everything from over one gallon to five gallons pale is a $1.60,” said Hurd.
The up-front funding covers both the collection and recycling. And on Saturday hundreds of people took advantage of the drive through as more than 250 cars dropped off roughly 4000 gallons of paint.
“It’s something they are doing to help the environment so we definitely want to be a part of that,” said Delabruere.
Both New York and New Hampshire have similar legislation in the works to work to establish a program similar to this in their state.
If you missed Saturday's event you can still drop off any unwanted paint at a designated recycling location.
For a list of locations – click here.
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