Households

Paintback supports Australian households to responsibly dispose of unwanted paint and packaging.

With over 160 free to drop-off locations available, this is the convenient solution to help DIY painters keep their garages and community clean.

Households

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Women holden a paintbucket against white background

Accepted Products

Paintback accepts a maximum of 100 litres in volume per visit. This must be carried in secured containers no larger than 20 litres.

The following list outlines the products that Paintback will and will not accept:

Accepted
  • Deck coatings and floor paints
  • Interior and exterior architectural paint
  • Packaging
  • Primers
  • Sealers
  • Stains and shellacs
  • Undercoats
  • Varnishes and urethanes (single components)
  • Wood coatings
Unaccepted
  • Aerosol paints
  • Anti-fouling coatings
  • Automotive and industrial surface coating (shop application) paints and finishes
  • Automotive paints
  • Bagged renders
  • Caulking compounds, epoxies, glues or adhesives
  • Colorants and tints
  • Demolition waste
  • General waste – plastic, cardboard
  • Household chemicals
  • Industrial maintenance coatings
  • Isocyanates
  • Melamine, metal and rust preventative
  • Metal coatings
  • Paint additives
  • Paint thinners, mineral spirits or solvents
  • Painting equipment – brushes, rollers, trays, rags etc.
  • Paint washings
  • Resins
  • Roof patch or repair
  • Tar-based or bitumen-based products
  • Texture coatings
  • Traffic paints
  • Two-component coatings

Household FAQs

The following information will help you better understand the Paintback journey.

Why do we need Paintback?

Unwanted paint and packaging are a high-volume hazardous waste that needs management to minimise the environmental effects, as well as the health risks to the community.

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CEO Paintback holding paint buckets

What will the funding be used for?

Funds are used for paying the costs of transport, collection and treatment of waste paint and packaging. It also pays for education and promotion of the scheme to encourage people to dispose of their waste paint and packaging responsibly. Paintback also uses some of the funds for research into new and improved ways to deal with waste paint and packaging.

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People looking at brochure of paints
What is Paintback?

Paintback is an industry-led initiative, founded to responsibly manage the disposal of Australia’s paint and packaging. Operating as an independent not-for-profit organisation, Paintback and offers a variety of free to drop-off locations across Australia. New sites are regularly being established in both regional and metropolitan areas.

Through research and development, Paintback is finding new uses for paint and packaging in resource recovery and methods of disposal that avoid harming the environment.

This service is free to access for both, DIY and professional painters.

Where is my nearest Paintback location?

Visit the Find a Location page to find your closest drop off point.

Our dedicated drop-off points are purpose built for the safe management of traffic and storage of waste paint and packaging. Drop-off points will accept up to 100 litres per visit in containers of 20 litres or less. Paint must be in its original packaging and unmixed. Waste paint cannot be accepted at retail or trade centre outlets, unless otherwise specified.

I don’t have a collection site near me, what do I do?

For updates on new drop-off points, stay connected to Paintback with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and here on the Paintback website.

How much paint can I drop off at Paintback?

Paintback accepts a maximum volume of 100 litres of eligible paint and packaging per visit. This must be carried in secured containers no larger than 20 litres.  This is to ensure that Paintback locations are not overwhelmed by large volumes of waste paint quickly. The container size limit ensures safe manual handling of the paint from your vehicle at the collection point.  All paint must be secured in the original containers it was purchased in. The volume of the material being dropped off is measured by the size of the container not the amount of paint inside.

Examples:

You can return:

  • Up to 5 x 20 litre paint cans
  • Up to 10 x 10 litre paint cans
  • Up to 50 X 2 litre paint can
How is Paintback funded?

To fund the collection and treatment of the waste paint and packaging, a levy of 15 cents (plus GST) per litre is applied to the wholesale price of eligible products in containers over 1 litre and up to 20.

What is the funding used for?

Funds are used for paying the costs of transport, collection and treatment of waste paint and packaging. It also pays for education and promotion of the scheme to encourage people to dispose of their waste paint and packaging responsibly. Paintback also uses some of the funds for research into new and improved ways to deal with waste paint and packaging.

 

What paint companies are involved?

Paintback’s founding members are Dulux, Haymes, PPG, Resene and Wattyl. Together they represent 90% of the Architectural & Decorative paint sold in Australia.  Paintback welcomes the opportunity to partner with new and existing paint companies.

Why is there GST on the levy?

The levy represents the cost of collecting and treating the paint. GST applies to all goods and services. The Australian Tax Office has ruled that GST applies to the Paintback levy.

Can I leave my waste paint where I purchased it?

No. Paintback uses purpose-built collection and storage points at participating councils and commercial sites. These drop-off points are also designed to ensure both customer and employee safety when products are deposited.

Paint and hardware stores are convenient locations to buy new paint, but retail and trade outlets are not equipped or licensed to handle waste paint and cannot accept it.

What happens to the waste paint?

Households and trade painters take their unwanted paint and packaging to a Paintback drop-off point, located at participating councils and businesses. The waste paint and packaging are stored at the collection point ready for Paintback to pick it up.

Paintback transports it from the collection point for treatment. The packaging and waste liquid are separated, and the containers are recycled.

Waste Paint is treated in several ways including energy recovery for solvent-based paint and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint. This process significantly minimises landfill over previous practices.

Is Paintback a scheme to make more profits?

The levy funds collected go to Paintback Ltd, which is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

The governing rules ensure that these funds are used to establish and operate the collection program and research new ways to repurpose unwanted paint materials.

The funding pays to reduce the end of life issues with waste paint and packaging, it does not go back to the participating paint companies or retailers.

Can I drop off paint cans with dried up paint in them?

Yes, empty cans and pails with dried up paint inside can be dropped off at any dedicated Paintback site.

How much paint packaging can I return?

Packaging includes only plastic and metal containers in which paint was originally sold. 

Paintback accepts up to 100 litres per visit. The 100-litre maximum is based on the capacity of the container, not the volume of waste paint left in a container.

Only empty containers can be stacked inside larger empty containers provided the largest container does not exceed 20 litres in capacity. This practice allows our collection sites to maximise space in the collection bins and provides everyone the opportunity to use the bins safely.

 

 

What paint products are accepted by Paintback?

Visit our Accepted Products page for more information on what can be brought to a Paintback drop-off location.

Who pays for Paintback?

All DIY and trade painters who purchase eligible products from participating paint brands fund the scheme through the levy.

Why does Paintback put a limit on how much waste paint I can take back?

The limit on returning products is in place to ensure there is enough space for others to drop-off their unwanted paint material and for the safety of Paintback visitors and location operators.

Many states in Australia have a legal limit on transporting chemicals by vehicle. The drop-off limit supports these laws by only allowing a maximum of 100 litres of paint and packaging to be brought to any dedicated Paintback location.

The 100-litre maximum is based on the capacity of the container, not the volume of waste paint left in a container.

Only empty containers can be stacked inside larger empty containers provided the largest container does not exceed 20 litres in capacity. This practice allows our collection sites to maximise space in the collection bins and provides everyone the opportunity to use the bins safely.

Examples:

You can return:

Up to 5 x 20 litre paint cans 
Up to 10 x 10 litre paint cans 
Up to 50 X 2 litre paint cans

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