The manual, along with a directory of reuse sites, is designed
to spur reuse across the state
New York - A new best practices guide for paint reuse was released today to help New York state officials address the multi-million-dollar environmental challenge of managing waste paint safely and cost-effectively.
State residents are beset annually with as much as 3 million gallons of leftover paint and need a place to turn for environmentally sound ways to get rid of it. Most leftover paint generated each year in New York ends up stored in homeowners' garages, flushed down drains, thrown in the trash, or becomes a financial burden to local governments when managed as part of household hazardous waste programs.
The new guide, produced by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) for the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC), provides information on how governments can establish more efficient and convenient local paint reuse programs. These efforts help prevent leftover paint from being improperly disposed of and reduce recycling costs usually borne by local governments and taxpayers -- estimated to be as high as $24 million annually.
"Offering a paint reuse program is a simple, cost-effective way for governments to provide a beneficial service to their communities and simultaneously reduce waste," said Scott Cassel, PSI's Chief Executive Officer and Founder. "The reuse guide is an easily accessible best-practices compendium for the nation as well as New York state."
The free manual is designed to provide key information that enables local governments, community groups, waste transfer stations, and non-profit organizations to create local paint reuse programs. It sets out the necessary steps, including a list of essential equipment and materials, to develop one of two different model programs for paint reuse. One of its most practical features for New York residents is a directory of current paint collection and reuse programs and facilities across the state.
"The inefficient management of reusable leftover paint not only wastes resources, energy, and taxpayer dollars, but also prevents states from realizing employment gains from potential jobs in reuse and recycling," notes Andrew Radin, chairman of NYPSC and Director of Recycling at the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, located in Syracuse, N.Y. "Recycling has been one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., and it's projected to grow 11 percent by 2016. New York could certainly benefit from that kind of growth."
Under future paint stewardship legislation, not only would manufacturers cover the transportation and processing costs of managing paint waste, but they would also reimburse local governments for running reuse programs. In fact, PaintCare, the industry-run non-profit dedicated to promoting and managing leftover paint reuse, recycling, and energy recovery, recently increased its reuse reimbursement rates. This reimbursement for each gallon of paint diverted from the waste stream can provide localities greater savings from reuse efforts.
"A toxic-free state depends on a variety of management tactics for waste paint, with reuse programs proving to be among the most effective methods," said Nabil Nasr, interim director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) as well as Rochester Institute of Technology's associate provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. "We are pleased to support this manual's production to assist in the statewide effort to address this important environmental issue."
Interested in developing a paint reuse program in your community? Learn more by accessing the Paint Reuse Manual. Located in New York? Find a paint reuse site near you with the New York Paint Reuse Directory. Funding for this project was provided by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute through a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
About the Product Stewardship Institute:
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., PSI takes a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues. With 47 state environmental agency members, along with hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, and 110 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC)
The New York Product Stewardship Council promotes product stewardship as the primary approach to solid waste management in New York State. The Council, created under the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management, is managed by representatives of local government agencies in tandem with representatives from other product stewardship stakeholders and supporters, including businesses, recyclers, solid waste managers, and the environmental community. Led by a 16-member Board of Directors, NYPSC is working to integrate product stewardship principles and sustainable product design into New York State Policy, with the aim of shifting waste management costs off taxpayers and the general public. For more information, visit NYPSC online.
About the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I)
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Rochester Institute of Technology and the university's Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Clarkson University, with a statewide reach. NYSP2I also works with the state's 10 Regional Technology Development Centers to help disseminate data and strategy. NYSP2I's goal is to make the state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy through pollution prevention. Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and reusing materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.