Where to recycle your leftover paint

How many almost-empty paint tins do you have in your garage or shed?

Or even quite full ones, perhaps in a colour that seemed a good idea at the time but has now gone out of vogue?

Whatever you do, don’t pour paint down the drain, or onto that patch of dirt where no-one will see it. And you can’t put them in your kerbside bins. But there is an easy solution.

Since its launch two years ago, Paintback has established more than 100 sites around the country for free disposal of paint.

Thirty leading brands support the scheme, including Dulux, Taubmans, Haymes, Resene, Rust, Oleum and Wattyl, and this accounts for 95 per cent of all architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia.

“Australians throw away a colossal 15 million kilograms of unused paint with containers every year,” said Karen Gomez, CEO of Paintback.

“Since we began a little over two years ago, we’ve been able to collect in excess of 6 million kilograms for safe disposal.”

Waste paint is treated in a number of ways including energy recovery and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint, significantly minimising landfill over alternative practices.

Supported by industry through a 15c-a-litre levy on paint products, Paintback had been highly successful with around 17 million people within 20 kilometres of a collection depot.

Collection points include council recycling centres.

As well as responsibly collecting the paint, Paintback repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy fuel and water resources using industrial processes where possible.

It also is funding research to find better uses for unwanted paint waste.

Paintback accepts a range of decorative and architectural paints, stains and varnishes secured in their original containers of up to 20 litres.

To search for your nearest Paintback collection site, and also to see the fill list of what Paintback accepts, visit paintback.com.au.

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