The paint industry is taking a hard look at the possibility of recycling paint. Based on limited experiments in a few locations across the country, some paint can be reblended into a low-quality recycled product, but there are many potential problems.
Recyclers worry that the old paint may have been contaminated, with other chemicals or by bacteria, or that it may contain ingredients that would not meet today's stringent environmental regulations.
Manufacturers are also concerned because there is currently no market for recycled paint. Those who have experimented with recycling paint point out that while the recycled product can be tinted in a limited number of colors, those colors seem "muddy" and lack appeal because the recycled tint-base is not pure white.
While paint recycling is by no means a solution to paint disposal, the industry has not stopped looking for ways to address these and other problems. Meanwhile, the tips in this brochure may make it easier to say "So Long, Old Paint" in ways that are environmentally safe.