Recycled paint takes off in Northwest suburbs

  • Area Ziegler's ACE Hardware stores are participating in EarthPaint's free spray paint collection program. They are also collecting latex and oil paint for a fee, which supports Earth Paint.

    Area Ziegler's ACE Hardware stores are participating in EarthPaint's free spray paint collection program. They are also collecting latex and oil paint for a fee, which supports Earth Paint. Courtesy of Luis Quintero/Pexels/Creative Commons

 
 
Posted11/21/2022 1:29 PM

Those paint cans stacked up in your basement or garage? Don't toss them in the trash.

That's the simple message from EarthPaint, a Chicago-area nonprofit that's been recycling paint for nearly 10 years.

 

"A lot of people think they can just throw their old paint away, but that's not true," said EarthPaint founder Chris McCarthy. "Not only do waste haulers discourage that, but it's bad for the environment when paint leeches into the ground."

EarthPaint has partnered with area Ziegler's ACE Hardware locations to collect residents' old, unwanted paint.

Ziegler's is also the first Chicago-area retailer to participate in EarthPaint's free spray paint recycling program.

All residents have to do is bring their old paint to a Ziegler's location, and EarthPaint will take care of the rest. Some fees for latex and oil paint apply, which help support EarthPaint's mission of recycling paint and employing disabled adults, often giving them meaningful work for the first time.

"We couldn't do what we do without my team. Our organization wouldn't exist. That's how important these guys are," McCarthy said. "The fact that we can provide jobs to people whose work opportunities are limited is incredibly meaningful."

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But back to readers' main question. Recycled paint?

"Most people don't know you can recycle paint," McCarthy said. "Our sustainable paint product is just as good as the name brands because it's made from the name brands. And it's sold at a fraction of the price."

EarthPaint sells paint at several retail locations across the Chicago area and at its facility in Wood Dale. McCarthy says the recycled paint product is effective for indoor and outdoor projects, and works for homeowners and paint professionals, alike.

"We hear it all the time: EarthPaint gets the job done," he says.

To mark World Recycling Day on Nov. 15, EarthPaint donated paint to any school or nonprofit in need. And it's donating spray paint cans to local artists, as well.

"We know it can be a struggle, especially in these times, to prioritize where to put your money," says EarthPaint founder Chris McCarthy. "And we're trying to make it easy for people to the right thing, and get their old paint recycled."

Ziegler's has locations in Bartlett, Carpentersville, Cary, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Huntley, Lake in the Hills and South Elgin.

Learn more about EarthPaint at www.earthpaint.org. Learn more about Ziegler's at www.zace.net.

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