ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed paint recycling legislation, a bill designed to tackle a long-standing solid waste disposal problem by making it possible for businesses and residents to recycle leftover paint at hundreds of convenient locations throughout the state. There are nearly 4 million gallons of leftover paint every year, according to the New York Product Stewardship Council, many of which have piled up in the garages, basements and closets of New Yorkers from Buffalo to Montauk.
The disposal of unused paint is extremely problematic for the municipal waste stream since much of it ends up being improperly poured down the drain or discarded with ordinary trash and sent to landfills or incinerators, which can contaminate groundwater and harm marine ecosystems. New York is only the 10th state in the nation to implement this type of program.
A statement follows from Eric A. Goldstein, Senior Attorney and New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“Improper disposal of unused paint creates unwarranted risks to our water quality, our health, and the environment. This bill transfers the economic responsibility of proper disposal from taxpayers to the manufacturers and is another important step in the development of a more sensible and sustainable waste handling policy in New York State.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.