On a regular basis the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) reviews the list of materials eligible under the paint recycling program to determine whether adjustments should be made.  ARMA seeks feedback from their Paint Industry Council as needed and will consult with a subject matter expert on the properties of the specific paint material in question.  Providing that type of material is not exempted in the regulation, the following questions are considered when deciding whether an item should be considered eligible (subject to the recycling fee).

  1. Is the material recyclable or is there an available option for keeping it out of the waste stream?
  2. Is the material sold in a container size between 100ml to 23L?
  3. Is the material currently being received by paint collection sites, return to retail stores and the paint recycling facilities?

As recommended by our Paint Industry Council recently and reported to the ARMA Board, the following materials were identified for inclusion on the list of eligible products effective January 1, 2020.

  • chalk-based aerosol or liquid
  • colorant & tint containers
  • deck cleaners
  • liquid block fillers
  • ink based aerosol or liquid
  • milk-based aerosol or liquid
  • non-aerosol craft & artist paints
  • solvents, thinners and mineral spirits
  • strippers for paint, coatings, and wallpaper
  • wood preservatives

The materials identified above have been coming into the program for recycling through our network of municipal collection sites, return-to-retail sites, and municipal and commercial roundup events.  Based on discussions with recyclers, they are able to manage the material that is not covered by the program currently.   These materials are currently being collected and recycled at a cost to the Alberta program although a recycling fee has not been remitted for those materials.

ARMA provided three months notice to paint stewards to allow them an opportunity to make any required adjustments to their systems.  An initial bulletin was distributed to their registered paint stewards and they plan to follow up with two additional mailouts (via email) to remind them of the upcoming change.  They’ve also updated their table of eligible products and fees, which is posted on their website and on the CPCA HUB.

We understand from some of our CPCA members that there is some concern about the eligibility of industrial products being on the list.  Alberta Recycling previously developed an industrial paint definition, which is also posted on their website.

In future ARMA plans to adjust the wording in the regulation and paint companies should pay special attention to that wording and provide concerns to ARMA regarding those definitions and the impact they may have on industry.  Alberta Recycling is recommending that the word ‘industrial’ be removed from the regulation.  Based on feedback from industry, and other program stakeholders, there is uncertainty regarding whether or not paint materials labelled with the term ‘industrial’ are acceptable for recycling.

ACTION: ARMA has asked CPCA to engage further with members operating in Alberta to ensure the perspective of CPCA members is taken into account, especially as it relates to expanding the list, related definitions in that list, and the potential change related to ‘industrial’ going forward.

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