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Paint recovery scheme shows potential

October 20, 2004

North Shore City Council - Press Release:

Paint recovery scheme shows potential

A six-month trial to recover and recycle paint and paint containers, has processed more than 20 tonnes of material and returned 2000 litres of reusable paint, worth $20,000, to the North Shore community.

The Paintwise pilot - believed to be the first of its kind in New Zealand - has been run by Resene Paints, with support from North Shore City Council and the Auckland Regional Council.

The scheme aims to prevent paint discharge polluting streams and waterways, and reduce the amount of paint and packaging going to landfill.

North Shore City waste minimisation team leader, Danielle Kennedy, says old paint is often tipped down stormwater drains, dumped in open space, or mistakenly put out on the kerb at inorganic collection time.

"We're keen for companies to follow this example and take responsibility for their products, and we would like to see this scheme continue," says Mrs Kennedy.

Six collection days were organised at the Wairau Park branch of the Resene ColorShop between May and October. Old or partially used paint was then sorted according to its condition, for safe disposal or for remixing and re-use by local schools and not-for-profit organisations. Metal containers were also recycled.

Over the six scheduled days, 719 people visited the Paintwise collection point, returning a total of 21,870 litres of old and unused paint. Most of this (89 per cent) was not re-usable. More than 19,000 cans and lids were recycled.

Resene Paints has since supplied nearly 2,000 litres of remixed paint to various North Shore community groups as diverse as the Devonport Arthouse and the Glenfield Wipe-out Trust.

Resene Paints spokesperson, Karen Warman, says the trial has been encouraging. "We've had high praise from both the users of the service and the community groups who benefited from the scheme. With such a positive response, we're looking to offer the service again in the future."

While there were fewer visitors than expected, a greater volume of paint was collected. An ongoing service would have more regular users, increasing the amount of reusable paint, says Ms Warman.

The Paintwise scheme has complemented the council's Hazmobile mobile household hazardous waste collection, which has been running successfully for several years. Most forms of hazardous waste, including paint, are collected by the Hazmobile service.

For more information about the Paintwise project and Hazmobile collections, residents should phone the North Shore City Actionline, or visit the council's website at www.northshorecity.govt.nz


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