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SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners throughout Illinois have something in their basement or garage that should be discarded, but until now, there hasn’t been a means to get rid of it safely: unused household paint. Legislation sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes that establishes a program to dispose of household paint was signed into law by the governor Friday.

The Paint Stewardship Act creates a process for consumers to dispose of household paint in Illinois. No state resources are in place today to deal with this waste. Under this law, manufacturers of architectural paint will create and submit a plan to the Illinois EPA to establish the program.

“It is exciting to offer this service to Illinoisans with old paint taking up space in their homes,” said Holmes (D-Aurora). “To get rid of it in an environmentally safe manner will give us an opportunity to make our state’s soil and water cleaner for our children and to safely produce our crops to feed the state and nation.”

Under this program, manufacturers will pay a fee to the Illinois EPA to set up a paint collection site, service or event, which will allow residents to drop off unused paint to specified locations free of charge. Those collection sites or events will be within a 15-mile radius for 90% of Illinois residents.

“Consumers will now have an opportunity to declutter their homes of old paint and feel confident that their waste is being recycled and disposed of in an environmentally sustainable way,” Holmes said.

Similar programs in other states with paint stewardship laws include California, Minnesota, Colorado and New York. They have collected 62.6 million gallons of paint.

Senate Bill 836 was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker Friday, and takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.