PaintCare is a new program in the State of Rhode Island that makes it easier for you to do the right thing with leftover paint.  It was created by the American Coatings Association, a membership-based trade association of the paint manufacturing industry, working with state and local government stakeholders. Under RI General Law § 23-24.12 the reuse, recycling, or proper disposal of paint is now funded through fees on each container of architectural paint sold in RI. These fees are $0.35 cents (from a half pint to smaller than 1 gallon), $0.75 cents (1 gallon) or $1.60 per container (between 1 and 5 gallons).

What to do with leftover paint:

  1. If your cans are still near-full, you may want to first try giving them away.  You can post them on the "FREE" section of Craigslist or FreeCycle OR

  2. If you can't give the paint away, use this PaintCare Site Locator to find a drop-off location. Before bringing your paint to any drop-off site, be sure to call to check business hours and to make sure they can accept the types and amount of paint you would like to recycle OR

  3. Make an appointment to drop off your paint (both oil-based and water-based, like latex) at one of our free Saturday Eco-Depot collection events OR

  4. If you only have water-based (non-hazardous paint) like latex, it is still safe for disposal in regular household trash, but needs to be hardened for the safety of workers and equipment. If there isn’t too much paint left, just leave it out with the lid off and it will dry without having to add anything.  If there is a significant amount left, you can do this with paint hardener (about $2 at a home improvement store), saw dust, or even kitty litter. Please do not recycle paint containers. Try placing the cans of hardened paint directly in a trash bag, and then in the trash can. If your city/town allows it, and you need to leave them out on the side of the trash, be sure to leave the lids off so you hauler can see they are hardened.  You can also try leaving a note, in both English and Spanish, with the cans. Something like:

Paint is hardened. Please discard in the trash.
La pintura está endurecida.  Por favor, échela en la basura.

As always, questions regarding your curbside pick-up and local drop-off services should be directed to your Department of Public Works.  You can find their contact information here.