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Beginning of Chapter  <<  70A.515.010 >>   70A.515.020


The legislature finds that:
(1) Leftover architectural paints are a waste management issue and present environmental risks and health and safety risks, especially to workers in the solid waste industry. During waste collection and processing, wet paint can create spills and splashes and oil paint containers may rupture, releasing fumes hazardous to workers and the remaining liquids may contribute to leachate problems in landfills. Some local governments are able to devote resources to provide collection sites or events for latex paint in order to provide their residents with at least some disposal options and to keep latex paint out of the solid waste stream. But residents and small businesses need additional and more convenient options for disposal of architectural paint. Drying latex for disposal is difficult for many residents and is wasteful of latex paint that can otherwise be reused or recycled. Local government special and moderate-risk waste collection programs are heavily impacted by the cost of managing unwanted architectural paints and these costs decrease the available funds to address other hazardous and hard-to-handle materials.
(2) Nationally, an estimated average of ten percent of architectural paint purchased becomes leftover paint. Current programs only collect a fraction of the potential leftover paint for proper reuse, recycling, or disposal. There is not a comprehensive statewide, end-of-life management plan for architectural paint, resulting in significant missed opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle paint.
(3)(a) It is in the best interest of Washington for paint manufacturers to assume responsibility for the development and implementation of a cost-effective paint stewardship program that:
(i) Develops and implements strategies to reduce the generation of leftover paint;
(ii) Promotes the reuse of leftover paint;
(iii) Collects, transports, and processes leftover paint for end-of-life management, including reuse, recycling, energy recovery, and disposal; and
(iv) Provides for transparency under chapter 42.56 RCW, the public records act.
(b) A paint stewardship program will follow the paint waste management hierarchy for managing and reducing leftover paint in the order as follows:
(i) Reduce consumer generation of leftover paint;
(ii) Reuse;
(iii) Recycle; and
(iv) Provide for energy recovery and disposal.
(c) The establishment of a comprehensive leftover paint management program that requires paint manufacturers to assume responsibility for the collection, recycling, reuse, transportation, and disposal of leftover paint, and that allows paint retailers to voluntarily participate in the collection of leftover paint, will provide more opportunities for consumers to properly manage their leftover paint, provide fiscal relief for local government in managing leftover paint, keep paint out of the waste stream, and conserve natural resources.
(4) The legislature further finds that Washington's existing waste collection, recycling, and disposal system leads the nation in innovation and environmentally sound practices. This system has achieved some of the highest overall recycling rates in the nation at fifty-one percent in 2012. The legislature further finds that leftover paint may be a toxic and hard-to-handle waste product that is appropriate for a product stewardship program to increase the safe, convenient, and effective reuse, recycling, and disposal of leftover paint. Product stewardship programs for toxic and hard-to-handle materials, including an architectural paint stewardship program, should integrate with and complement the existing waste collection, recycling, and disposal system.
(5) This chapter creates an architectural paint stewardship program to be enforced by the department.
[ 2019 c 344 s 1. Formerly RCW 70.375.010.]
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