I recently purchased a quart of paint at Walmart. On the receipt, I was charged a “recovery fee.” Three different people gave me three different answers about this recovery fee. Why this fee? Who gets the money? Why are they also charging sales tax? Sign me, Grumpy Old Geezer
Action Line was hoping to blow the lid off the paint-can story. Really stir things up with colorful commentary, and let the paint chips fall where they may.
It would be a brush with greatness, prompting a hue (and cry) for transparency to end this paint cover-up.
Not to gloss (or semi-gloss) over the situation, there’s nothing shady about the recovery fee; it funds a terrific service that protects Colorado.
Back in 2014, the Legislature approved the Paint Stewardship Law, establishing a convenient way to recycle paint or dispose of it safely.
Today, all you have to do is bring your old or unused paint (it needs to have the original label) to any of 169 participating locations statewide.
By the way, 94.7% of Colorado residents live within 15 miles of a drop-off site.
In Durango, the participants are Kroegers Ace Hardware, Sherwin Williams and Colors Inc. In Bayfield, Lewis True Value will take your paint.
Pagosa Springs, Cortez and Silverton also have drop-off merchants.
Check out PaintCare.org for other locations and lots of great information.
PaintCare is a nonprofit organization created by the American Coatings Association, a voluntary trade group for the paint industry.
Paint is a big deal. The industry accounts for almost 300,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $30 billion in sales.
What’s also a big deal? The “left-overs.” More than 10% of paint sold is not used, according to the association.
That’s a problem. One gallon of improperly disposed paint can pollute 250,000 gallons of water, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health.
Colorado is one of 10 states with a paint recovery fee. Note that it’s not a tax or deposit, but a fee – and not a dang dime goes to Denver.
Instead, the recovery fee “is paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers and is then added to the wholesale and retail purchase price of paint, passing the cost of managing post-consumer paint to everyone who buys paint,” explains an association fact sheet.
And there’s a major bonus:
Anyone with “legacy” paint – those scummy, drippy old cans tucked away in the closet or garage – can be dropped off free of charge, up to 5 gallons each visit.
Please allow Action Line to paint a rosy picture.
Last year alone, about 654,479 gallons of Colorado paint were processed through PaintCare.
Recovery fees are cheap. There’s no fee on sales of a half-pint or smaller. A quart is a mere 35 cents.
One gallon sets you back 75 cents, which is less than the Snickers bar you picked up because a candy bar will give you the energy to paint faster. Justify it however you want.
Up to 5 gallons is a buck-sixty, cheaper than the beer you’ll enjoy after the project’s done.
So let’s not gripe about 35 cents going to keep paint out of the landfill and water table.
As for the two-penny tax on the 35-cent fee, it’s important to remember that the fee is part of the price of paint. So it’s taxable.
Some people aren’t going to like that.
At least it gives grumpy geezers the opportunity to offer their two cents on the turpitude of turpentine.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you view paint recovery as a black-and-white issue.