Reuse scheme for water-based paint shows great potential

The first results from the Paint It Forward partnership, which aims at ensuring the reuse of water-based paint residues in Copenhagen, are in. And they look promising.

Collection of water-based paint for reuse Photo: Troels Eriksen

In the test period from medio October 2021 to end January 2022, a total of 392 kilos of paint residues from one municipal recycling station was collected for reuse and redistributed for different projects conducted by citizens, artists, and organisations.

The test collection took place at Vermlandsgade recycling station in the heart of Copenhagen. After reviewing different collection methods at the recycling station, a conclusion was made to collect the buckets with used paint in a recycling cage with shelves placed adjacent to the hazardous waste collection area. This way, citizens and companies could redirect their disposal of used paint residues to the recycling cage and shelves instead og depositing it in the hazardous waste area. In addition, the personnel at the recycling station put aside any buckets with water-based paint residues, which were then collected by a representant from Paint It Forward once a week. Paint It Forward has weighed and registered all collected paint from this process.

A total of 1.1 tonne of paint was collected during the test period; however, only 392 kilos – or approx. 35 % - of the collected quantities had a redistribution value for Paint It Forward. The remaining 721 kilos of paint was not deemed suitable for reuse.

The Paint It Forward partnership was launched on the same day as the opening of a new sharing-zone at the Vermlandsgade recycling station, where users of the recycling station can exchange items or deposit things for direct reuse, which might have potential value for others.