Every time I take on a paint project, I try to estimate exactly how much paint I will need so I don't have to figure out how to get rid of the excess paint. If I had a dollar for every can of leftover paint I have stored in my garage, I would have enough money for a couple more gallons of the good stuff for sure. My biggest reason for hanging on to paint is because I think I will need it for touch-ups.

So why do I have leftover paint stored in my garage? I tell myself the reason for hanging on to paint is because I will need it for touch-ups. The simple truth is I don't want to dispose of it improperly and I am too lazy to dry it out. The proper way to dispose of paint is to allow it to dry out before you put it in your trash or take it to a transfer station. This has resulted in many of us having lots of used paint laying around.

Recycle Program for Unused Paint in New York State

Simon Potter
Simon Potter

The fact is if you dispose of paint improperly it is bad for the garbage truck, bad for your neighborhood, and bad for the environment. Dumping a can of paint in your garbage will most likely result in the can getting crushed, paint ending up in the truck which leaks on the road, and eventually ends up in the landfill contaminating the environment.

What is PaintCare in New York?

All of these scenarios along with many other factors is why in 2019 New York State passed a law that resulted in a new paint recycling program called PaintCare coming to New York State. They currently have 200 locations in New York but hope to eventually have 300. Turns out there are plenty of places to recycle your paint in the Hudson Valley and even though most only take up to 5 gallons at a time the Habitat ReStore of Ulster County will actually take up to 20 gallons.

Number One Reason to Recycle Paint with PaintCare in New York

So what is the number one reason you should track down one of these locations and recycle your unused paint? The answer is because you already paid to have it recycled. Yes, that is correct it is free to recycle your paint because you paid the recycling fee when you bought the paint new. It is the same thing as not returning the bottles for the 5-cent deposit. If you paid in advance why not get your nickel back or in this case recycle your unused paint.

There’s no cost when you drop off paint (the program is funded by a fee added to paint sales), and all PaintCare sites accept up to 5-gallons per visit while some take more!  (via Facebook New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)


Find out more about New York's Paint Recycling Programs

How You Should Legally Dispose of House Paint In New York

Hudson Valley Transfer Stations for Your Unwanted Stuff

Hudson Valley Transfer Stations

This is a list of Hudson Valley Transfer Stations. Most are open to the public but a few have residency restrictions. Transfer stations are the best place to drop off unwanted trash. They sort and properly dispose of all types of materials.

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