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Frequently Asked Questions

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

What is Paintback?

Paintback is an industry initiative to divert architectural and decorative waste paint from landfill.  
Run by an independent, not-for-profit company it will collect and treat waste paint through participating sites around Australia. 
It is the responsible way for households and professional painters to dispose of left-over paint and packaging.

Where do I take my left over paint?

Paintback will establish collection sites across Australia where you can drop-off your unwanted paint and packaging for no extra charge. We are aiming to roll-out three sites per month, with a target of approximately 70 sites in the next couple of years.  The current Paintback collection sites are listed here.

Mobile collections will also be organised in the future where permanent collection points may not be available.

What if there isn’t a site near me?

Paintback is establishing a national network, which will take a little time.  It is initially targeting major population areas in mainland capital cities from May 2016 and then aims to average three additional permanent sites per month across Australia over the next two to three years.

You can use any participating Paintback site whether or not you do not reside in the area.

People with waste paint can use any participating Paintback collection point.  Keep connected with Paintback at its website, or through social media, to find out where the new sites are.

Why can’t I take it back to my retailer?

Paintback uses purpose-built collection and storage points at councils and Cleanaway. Paint and hardware stores are convenient locations to buy new paint, but retail outlets are not equipped or licensed to handle waste paint and cannot accept it. Paintback sites can receive left-over paint and packaging, which are also designed for your safety when dropping off paint.

Can I access Paintback when I live regionally?

For areas with lower populations or that are remote, there may not be possible to establish permanent collection sites initially.

Paintback intends to run mobile collections to service these areas.  This involves temporary sites that will be established for certain collection days. These will be posted at this website, at local council websites and advertised in local media.

What paint products are covered by Paintback?


How much is the levy and why do I have to pay for it?

The levy will be 15 cents per litre (plus GST) on Paintback accepted products.  It has been approved by the ACCC. It will fund the collection and treatment of waste paint nationally, education campaigns and research for new uses of waste paint by Paintback Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the end-of-life management of waste paint and packaging.

Is Paintback a scheme to make more profits? 

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

Its governing rules ensure that these funds will be 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.

Why is there a limit on how much waste paint I can take back to a collection point?

Paintback accepts a maximum of 100 litres per visit, stowed in containers of not more than 20lt.  This is to ensure that its collection points are not overwhelmed by large volumes of waste paint quickly.  The container size limit ensures safe manual handling of the paint from your car at the collection point.

What happens to the waste paint?

Households and trade painters take their unwanted paint and packaging to a Paintback site.

The waste paint and packaging is 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.  The containers are recycled.  Waste paint is treated in a number of ways including energy recovery for solvent and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint, significantly minimising landfill over current practices.