Paint Recycling Program Ends

Macomb, IL – A paint recycling program in McDonough County is shutting down due to lack of state funding.

The Western Illinois Regional Council oversees "Partners for Paint," which offers an environmentally friendly alternative to putting old paint into a landfill or keeping it in a garage. The WIRC partners with the EPA, which picks up collected paint to break down and recycle.

The program is ending because Illinois swept money from the solid waste fund to use in other areas. The Regional Council's Gary Ziegler says he's unsure if the money will ever be returned.

"One would hope that the General Assembly and the Environmental Protection Agency would see how important this program is, and that these funds would be restored and would not be swept in the future," says Ziegler.

Partners for Paint is a localized portion of a statewide program that recycles paint in an environmentally friendly manner. The WIRC collects old paint from 10 counties in west central Illinois.

Ziegler says nearly half a million pounds have been collected since the local program began four years ago.

He says the only legal way to dispose of paint in a landfill is to solidify it first. He says liquid paint contains harmful chemicals that could seep into the groundwater supply.