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Maryland Adopts PaintCare Program

Households and businesses across Maryland will soon be able to recycle their leftover paint after a new law was approved by the Maryland legislature and signed on May 9 by Gov. Wes Moore.

The program is anticipated to begin in 2026 and will offer more than 100 paint drop-off sites throughout the state. Many of those sites will be located in paint and hardware stores that are open at normal business hours, all at no cost to households and businesses when dropping off their leftover paint for recycling.

Funding to run the program will be included as a small fee added to the purchase price of new paint.

Maryland is the 12th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to adopt this program, which will be operated by PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created by the paint industry through the American Coatings Association. Other states that have enacted similar legislation and adopted PaintCare are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

“This law is a victory for Maryland government and businesses,” says lead sponsor state Sen. Ben Brooks. “While PaintCare will save money for towns, cities and residents by shifting the burden of managing unused paint to the manufacturer-led program, paint stores can increase customer foot traffic and sales opportunities by volunteering to be a paint drop-off site.”

Currently, most leftover paint is disposed of in landfills and waste to energy facilities or sits unused in basements and garages until it hardens and becomes unusable. The new program will create a system for collecting thousands of gallons of liquid paint for reuse, recycling, and other beneficial use and will reduce the financial burden of waste management that local governments now shoulder.

“As much as 10% of paint purchased goes unused, which means that nearly everyone has leftover paint in their garage or basement,” says sponsor and state Sen. Chris West. “That’s why I’m pleased to support the new law which will bring the PaintCare program to Maryland and help Marylanders responsibly dispose of all those leftover cans of paint by just taking them to their local paint store and turning them in, at no cost.”

Since its inception, PaintCare has processed more than 70 million gallons of paint and saved local governments millions of dollars. With more than 2,400 voluntary collection sites, 77% at retail locations, the program provides sites within 15 miles of over 90% of populations served creating unprecedented convenience and enabling participation.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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