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Paintback ‘viable alternative’ to illegal dumping of paint in Australia

Australia – In response to the ‘home renovation boom’ in Australia, people are said to have eagerly embraced the country’s paint waste collection and treatment service.

‘Home renovations have averaged an annual growth of around 10% per annum in the past several years and Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint per year,’ comments Karen Gomez, chief executive of Paintback. Roughly 5% of that ends up as waste annually so unwanted paint is one of Australia’s most common sources of liquid waste found in landfill.

Paintback covers paint handed in by both private citizens and professional painters and is funded through a user-pays 15 cents per litre levy. This makes it an ‘easy-to-use’ service to dispose of paint waste and is a ‘viable alternative’ to stockpiling or illegal dumping, Gomez adds.

Paintback aims to keep more than 45 000 tonnes of paint and paint packaging out of landfill over the next five years, while also recovering valuable resources ‘so they can be put to good use’. Around 70 paint-specific collection points will be established over the next two years, including the 16 that are already open.

‘We aim to have a collection service within 20km to 40km of 85% of the population within five years,’ Gomez notes. She will be discussing Paintback in her opening address of the 2016 Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo, which will be held on 10 and 11 August 2016 at the Sydney Showground.

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