New Paint Collection Program Enacted In Maine, Effective In 2015


Joining a growing list of western and New England states, Maine has just enacted a paint collection program for “post-consumer” paint. The law establishes the framework for a program – but it is unlikely to be established before July 1, 2015.

The good news: The program should apply to paint that a purchaser or user wishes to dispose of, regardless of hazard, and should be available to businesses as well as individuals. The limits: Containers of five gallons or less, and excludes industrial, original equipment or specialty coatings. The expected news: Fees will be added to the sale of new paint to fund the collection and recycling or disposal, projected to be in the range of 75 cents per gallon, or $1.60 per five-gallon container.

The delay until 2015 is necessary to allow paint producers to propose a program to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and for Maine DEP to review and approve the program. Over the next two years, the features of the program should become clearer.

Hoarding paint until collection is available in 2015 may be tempting, but would not be allowed if the paint would be a hazardous waste and held by anyone not a “household.” Under those circumstances, hazardous waste rules would apply and require disposal.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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