PaintCare – the non-profit organization that operates the paint stewardship program in Colorado – just announced through its latest annual report that in 2018 the organization recycled 654,476 gallons of unwanted, unused paint from residents and businesses across the state. The program has collected and processed more than 2.37 million gallons of paint since it began in 2015. This effort helps ensure leftover paint is managed responsibly to divert it from the waste stream and better protect the environment.

“2018 was PaintCare’s third full-year operating a paint recycling program in Colorado,” said Kevin Lynch, PaintCare Colorado’s program manager. “Last year, we collected 2.1 percent more paint than in 2017. We are thrilled to continue seeing growing engagement and interest from Coloradoans to properly dispose of leftover paint, and appreciate the support of our mission.”

Highlights from the 2018 Colorado annual report include:

  • A total of 169 drop-off sites provided a PaintCare drop-off site within 15-miles of 94.7% of Colorado’s residents. The number of retailers and drop-off sites increased by 10 since 2017.
  • The program collected an estimated 712,204 gallons of paint and processed 654,476 gallons of postconsumer paint.
  • 326 tons of metal and plastic containers were recycled.
  • 14.04 million gallons of architectural paints were sold in Colorado, a nearly 50% increase since the program’s inception in 2015. It is estimated that 10% of paint sold goes unused; PaintCare collected 52% of that number in Colorado.
  • PaintCare’s large volume pick-up service (available to businesses and homes with 200 gallons or more of unused, unwanted paint) conducted 113 large volume pick-ups. This service is free to painting contractors, property managers, households, and others with large amounts of leftover architectural paint.
Colorado Paint Recycling

Coloradans Recycled More Than 650,000 Gallons of Paint in Colorado

PaintCare drop-off sites are located mostly at paint and hardware stores. They will accept all paint brands, regardless of when or at which store in Colorado it was purchased.

Items that can be dropped off for recycling include most house paints, primers, stains, sealers, and clear top coatings (varnish and shellac). Find a detailed list of accepted products at

The PaintCare program transports the collected paint from the drop-off sites to processing facilities. Once there, the paint is remixed into recycled-content paint whenever possible, used as fuel, made into other products or, in the case of some unrecyclable paint, properly disposed of.

While there is no charge to drop paint off for recycling, a nominal fee has been added to the price of new paint sold in Colorado to fund all aspects of the program including paint collection, transportation, recycling, public education, and program administration. The fee varies by the size of container: 35 cents for pints and quarts, 75 cents for one-gallon cans, and $1.60 for five-gallon buckets.

PaintCare runs paint recycling programs in Colorado, the District of Columbia and seven other states: CaliforniaConnecticutMaineMinnesotaOregonRhode Island, and Vermont. In 2019, PaintCare announced it will run a program in Washington, which is expected to begin in 2020.