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District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia

Contact: Fred Gabriel, District of Columbia Program Manager, fgabriel@paint.org (202) 317-0592

Drop-Off Sites

It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in the District of Columbia. We have recruited paint and hardware stores to take back paint. PaintCare has set up 9 convenient locations to drop off paint throughout the District. These drop-off sites are available to any household and business in the District, and they accept paint whenever they are open for business, all year-round.

Door to Door Paint Pickup Service

Do you have more than five gallons of paint that you want to dispose of? For a limited time, PaintCare is offering a direct pickup service to District of Columbia households for leftover paint, stain, and varnish. There is no charge for the service – the cost is covered by the PaintCare fee on sales of new paint in DC. Learn more at to see if you qualify and submit a service request.

woman carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store


PaintCare programs are funded by a fee (referred to as the PaintCare fee) which is applied to the purchase price of new paint sold in the state. The fee is paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers and is then added to the wholesale and retail purchase price of paint, passing the cost of managing post-consumer paint to everyone who buys paint. You may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container of paint you purchase.

There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site.

The PaintCare fee is not a tax; it does not go to the state to operate the program. The PaintCare fee is also not a deposit; you don’t get it back when you drop off paint–a common misunderstanding.

Fees fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. This includes paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage “legacy” paint, material that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started.

The fees are based on container size as follows:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons$0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons$1.95

Program Brochure

PaintCare’s program brochure is intended for the general public. To request free paper copies of this brochure for you or others, please contact us at 855-PAINT09. In addition to paint stores, other organizations (e.g., government agencies, real estate agents, property managers, painting contractors) are welcome to order brochures and distribute to others.



Professional painting contractors are one of the groups most affected by PaintCare. If you are a painting contractor, please review the information below to learn more about PaintCare, the fees, and paint recycling services available from PaintCare.

man carrying leftover paint cans in a hardware store

Fees and Funding

As required by District law, a paint stewardship assessment (“PaintCare Fee”) is added by manufacturers to the wholesale price of all architectural paint sold in the District. This fee is paid by manufacturers to PaintCare to fund setting up drop-off sites for leftover, postconsumer paint, and for the transportation, recycling, and proper disposal of that paint. The fees also pay for consumer education and program administrative costs. The fees for the District have been approved by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). Fees are by container size as follows:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons$0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons$1.95
Important Note:

It is expected that contractors will pass the fees on to their customers in order to recoup the fees they pay on the product. When estimating jobs, contractors should take these fees into account by checking with your suppliers to make sure the quotes for paint products include the fees. You should also let your customers know that you include these fees in your quotes.

Business Limits

To use the PaintCare program for oil-based paint, a business must qualify as an exempt generator under federal and any analogous state hazardous waste generator rules. Please visit www.paintcare.org/VSQG for more information on exempt generator rules. If your business does not qualify as an exempt generator, it will not be able to use the program for oil-based paint, but it can still use the program for latex products.

Large Volume Pickup (LVP) Service

If you have a large amount of unwanted paint, PaintCare offers door-to-door pick-up service that benefits both contractors and our volunteer drop-off sites. This free service is available to households or businesses with at least 200 gallons of paint.

Download and Print

Information for painting contractors is available below.

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Already a Drop-Off Site?

Let your customers know that you are a paint drop-off location!  Visit our Drop-Off Site Promotion Toolkit for artwork for digital advertising, social media, or print advertising.

You can also order free point-of-sale (POS) materials or signage for your business or organization.

PaintCare provides exempt generator certification forms to drop-off sites to be signed by all businesses and organizations that drop off oil-based paint or other solvent based program products. Signing the form is not necessary for those with only latex or water based program products. The form was updated in August 2017 due to changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Download the current form here: Exempt Generator Certification Form

Not a drop-off site, but are interested in becoming one? Please see the information in the Partnering with PaintCare section at the bottom of this page.

Responsibilities of All Retailers

The District of Columbia Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers of paint to include the PaintCare Fee in the sale price of program products and only sell products registered with the program. More details are provided here:

a. Add Assessment Fee: Manufacturers must add the PaintCare Fees to their wholesale price of each container of paint. Retailers must ensure these fees are passed down to the consumer. The fees for the District have been approved by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). Fees are by container size as follows:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons$0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons$1.95

b. Sell Registered Brands: Retailers must make sure they do not sell unregistered architectural paint brands. Retailers can verify the registration of manufacturers and brands using the following lists which are updated regularly. If you are a retailer and do not see a manufacturer or brand of paint sold in your store on these lists, please contact PaintCare at (855) 724-6809.

Publications for Your Customers

Publications for Your Employees

Partnering with PaintCare to Be a Drop-Off Site

Fact Sheet: How to Become a Drop-Off Site. Explains the responsibilities for paint retailers that volunteer to take back leftover paint from the public.


click to play video

click to play video

Retailers may volunteer to be a paint drop-off site and accept paint from households and certain businesses in their community. To learn more about what is involved in becoming a drop-off site, please read the above fact sheet. If you would like to be a drop-off site, please fill out our opens in a new windowOnline Retailer Interest Form, or use the Word or PDF version and send by email, fax or regular mail.

2019 Infographic

This one-page infographic (8.5″x11″) highlights the successes from the most recent reporting period for the District of Columbia PaintCare Program (January 1 to December 31, 2019). Please consider downloading and printing a copy of the infographic and then posting it for staff and the public at your business or organization.

Annual Report

PaintCare prepares an annual report for the 12 months ending December 31. The first report for the District of Columbia also covers the final two months of 2016 because the program started in November 2016.

Program Plan

PaintCare’s program plan for the District of Columbia was submitted to the District on April 1, 2016. This plan describes the operations, outreach, and other activities proposed for the DC Paint Stewardship Program.


The District of Columbia PaintCare Program is a result of Act Number 20-501, enacted in 2015. The legislation is clarified through District regulations.

Oversight Agency

The oversight agency for the District of Columbia paint stewardship program is the opens in a new windowDistrict Department of Energy and Environment.

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