The Honorable Aaron Michlewitz
House Committee on Ways and Means, Chair
State House, Boston

(Delivered electronically)

Dear Chair Michlewitz,

The Massachusetts Municipal Association is pleased to support H. 938, An Act Relative to Paint Recycling, and respectfully asks the Committee to report the bill out favorably for consideration by the House of Representatives. This legislation is a sustainable and convenient solution to a costly environmental problem facing the cities and towns of Massachusetts: leftover, unused paint.

In January 2019, the entire MMA membership approved a resolution supporting partnerships to address the challenges to the recycling marketplace. In line with the member-adopted policies in that resolution, the MMA supports extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation to establish manufacturer responsibility for end-of-life recycling, including paint, which can be safely and sustainably diverted from the waste stream. This bill would establish a paint stewardship program operated and financed by the paint industry, funded by a fee at the point of sale.

The expansion of paint recycling across the Commonwealth will increase the capacity and accessibility of these services. The bill directly aims to ensure that collection sites are accessible with the following goals:
• At least 90% of Massachusetts residents shall have a collection site within 15 miles of their residence
• One site per 50,000 residents of an urbanized area shall be made available

Municipalities have been essential partners with the state in meeting waste reduction goals and incentivizing recycling. H. 938 would be an industry-based tool to promote responsible recycling and disposal of leftover paint and paint cans. Enactment of this bill would allow the Commonwealth to join many New England neighbors with existing paint stewardship programs.

This legislation is consistent with the successful paint stewardship programs currently established in 10 states across the nation, which have since reused or recycled more than 70% of latex paint collected. These programs have relieved local governments and their taxpayers of more than $295 million in avoided paint transportation and processing costs.

The potential cost savings of implementing such a program in Massachusetts would mitigate the already significant financial burdens to local government through hazardous waste disposal programs.

H. 938 presents the Legislature with an environmentally sound as well as fiscally responsible proposal to reduce this waste stream across Massachusetts. We greatly appreciate your careful consideration of this bill and all other environmental issues impacting cities and towns in the Commonwealth. If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Legislative Analyst Josie Ahlberg at 617-426-7272 or at any time.

Thank you very much.


Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO

cc: The Honorable Ronald Mariano, Speaker of the House