WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Paint Collection Resumes in Western Illinois

Macomb, IL – A popular paint collection program in western Illinois will start up again thanks to renewed state funding.

Partners for Paint, which collects unused paint in a ten county area, was suspended in December due to a lack of state funding.

Program coordinator Chad Braatz says it costs the state roughly $20,000 per year to collect paint in this region and transport it to St. Louis for incineration.

He says the program won't start back up right away, but is shooting for sometime late next month.

"We're hoping to kick it off with a WalMart collection that we do in Galesburg monthly, that's usually the third weekend in August," says Braatz. "It basically is how fast I can get around to everybody, go through that re-education process, and get set up for it."

Braatz says Partners for Paint provides the only legal, feasible, and economically friendly way to dispose of unused paint. He says there are other options, but he doesn't recommend them.

"One, you can take it out in the backyard and bury it. Two, you can take it out in the backyard and burn it, three, you can try to put in the trash and sneak it to the landfill," says Braatz. "Now, with all three of those options, eventually whatever was in that paint can could eventually make it to the ground water."

Braatz says nearly 600,000 pounds of paint has been collected in western Illinois since the program's inception five years ago.

There are several collection sites around the region, including the Tri-County Regional Collection facility at 510 N. Pearl St. in Macomb.