Legislature

Recycling law to hike paint prices

Republicans raise hue and cry about consumer cost

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Paint prices will eventually go up under a new law aimed at promoting recycling.
The law, parts of which took effect last week, tacks on a fee for household paint purchases. The fee will go toward the creation of a paint recycling drop-off program.
State Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, who backed the legislation that led to the law, said she hopes the program will have a positive environmental impact.
“It is the highest volume product that is not recycled,” Newell said of used paint cans. “It either ends up in landfills with paint inside cans or it ends up sitting in people's basements, or it ends up in the water stream.”
The drop-off centers will be located at home improvement and hardware stores, where cans can be recycled at no cost.
“Retailers themselves don't have to do this,” Newell said, “but the majority will want to be a retail recycling site because it drives traffic to their stores.”
The process of creating the program began last week. After the new year, retailers will get together to discuss the full implementation of the program, Newell said.
The per-can fee amount is not detailed in the legislation's fiscal analysis, but it is estimated that at least $93,000 in fees will be needed to be collected in the first year in order for the state to cover administrative costs.
The cost doesn't sit well with Republicans, the overwhelming majority of whom voted against the bill earlier this year.
“Once again Governor (John) Hickenlooper and the Democrats have created yet another burdensome program that heaps more unnecessary fees onto consumers in Colorado,” House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, said through an emailed statement. “Now that this law has gone into effect, Coloradans can thank the Democrats for the increased cost of paint.”