AMHERST: A national group that oversees paint recycling programs says local residents are doing an excellent job.

The not-for-profit organization Product Care Recycling reported that Port Hawkesbury residents recycled over 3,000 litres of paint at Strait Bottle Exchange and Recycling in the Port Hawkesbury Business Park, contributing to the nearly 472,000 litres of paint recycled by Nova Scotians in 2019.

Brad Skinner, Product Care Paint Program Coordinator for Nova Scotia, told The Reporter that other recycling depots in the region also reported encouraging results last year, including Tracadie, Lincolnville, Canso, St. Peter’s, Arichat, Port Hood, and Strathlorne. When the totals for all locations are added together, Skinner said over 9,500 liters went through local facilities in 2019.

The numbers, which come from the Nova Scotia 2019 Annual Report and 2019 Consolidated Annual Report, according to Skinner, were also confirmed by his group’s head office Vancouver.

“That’s as accurate as we have,” Skinner said of the numbers.

As fall approaches, many Nova Scotians are cleaning out their basements and garages, so it’s the perfect time to encourage more people to uncover old cans of paint and unwanted coating products—all of which can be recycled.

Several types of household paint products can be recycled in Nova Scotia, including indoor and outdoor paint, primer, wood finishing oils, varnish, and more.

“Generally, it’s household paint. Commercial paint is not accepted. If it says ‘commercial’ on the can at all, it’s not accepted,” Skinner explained.

Recycling leftover paint helps protect marine life and waterways, while diverting landfill waste.

Paint is a valued resource, and recycling gives these products a second life in paint produced with recycled content, concrete manufacturing, energy recovery, and more.

Skinner said the environmental fee charged on each can of paint sold is used to help his group administer the program through Nova Scotia Environment.

“It keeps it out of the landfills, it keeps from being dumped,” Skinner said of the recycled paint. “The paint is recycled as much as possible, it’s re-processed. And in some cases, when it can’t be re-processed, it’s used for energy recovery. Then the cans will be recycled in the metal recycling program. They take empty cans as well.”

Since 1994, Product Care Recycling has worked to protect the environment by providing free recycling locations for consumers to bring products like paint, household hazardous waste, lights and alarms. As a not-for-profit, Product Care acts as a guide for individuals and businesses alike to reduce their waste, reuse when possible, and find the best recycling options for their products at end-of-life.

Nova Scotians can easily find a full list of accepted paint products on-line and see their nearest drop-off location using Product Care’s Recycling Locator tool at: https://www.productcare.org/products/paint/.