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Are paint recycling fees legal? Some shoppers surprised by extra charge

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  • Staff Report 

Since May 2022, New Yorkers purchasing paint have been noticing an additional recycling fee on their bills.

This fee is part of a state-wide initiative run by PaintCare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proper disposal and recycling of paint products. The program aims to facilitate the recycling process by allowing customers to drop off old paint at participating hardware stores and other businesses across the state.


The fee structure for this recycling program varies based on the quantity of paint purchased. It starts at $0.45 for amounts ranging from half a pint to a gallon, increases to $0.95 for one to two gallons, and reaches $1.95 for purchases between two to five gallons.

This fee is designed to cover the costs associated with collecting, transporting, and processing leftover paint. According to PaintCare, the program has successfully raised over $21 million since its inception and has recycled more than 1 million gallons of paint in New York.