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U.S. EPA Awards Grant for Paint Recycling to Umass Lowell

Release Date: 09/22/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Region 9 Press Office, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has awarded a $43,804 grant to the Product Stewardship Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Background research has already been completed, and this EPA funding will enable PSI to take the next step in developing sustainable solutions for paint, which is the largest component of everyday household hazardous waste.

The institute will spend the grant money exploring ways to reduce paint waste, as well as ways to collect, reuse and recycle surplus paint. PSI hopes to do this by facilitating a national dialogue between government, the paint industry, and environmental groups to evaluate potential solutions.

"The grant will fund a critical national dialogue, which is the key next step in implementing sustainable solutions for managing used paint," said Robert W. Varney, the regional administrator of the EPA's New England office. "The EPA believes this is a comprehensive plan that offers a well designed approach to finding solutions to the nation-wide problem of waste paint management, and we expect it will lead to the development and implementation of action plans."

The issues for dialogue were identified through research and analysis of paint management practices and interviews with more than 40 paint industry stakeholders and state and local government entities including the California Integrated Waste Management Board and Department of Toxic Substance Control, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Cape Cod Commission.

Environmental measures of success for this grant include increase in the recycling rate for leftover paint, increase in the purchase of recycled paint by government agencies, and increase in the number of consumer education efforts.