Through Bundaberg Regional Council's Paintback Scheme, 73,000 kilograms of paint and paint products have been diverted from the region’s landfills and waterways in the past four years.
The figure comes as Paintback celebrates its fifth anniversary this week, with a record-breaking eight million kilograms of unwanted paint disposed of Australia wide.
The successful Paintback Scheme aims to get rid of paint and paint packaging safely or repurposes it for other industrial uses.
Council's waste services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said the Paintback Scheme was a free initiative that was available all year round.
“Household paint is full of chemicals and needs to be disposed of safely to prevent it from being caught up in our landfills and waterways and harming the environment,” she said.
“Not only is it free to drop off your paint at our Qunaba and University Drive waste facilities, you will also feel better knowing that from there, it will go on to be disposed of in a safe manner or repurposed for something else.”
Cr McLoughlin said after being collected from waste facilities, Paintback transported the used paint from collection sites for treatment.
Currently, unwanted paint is converted into an alternative fuel source replacing coal, or its water is extracted and used by other industries, reducing the need to use mains water.
Community thanked for Paintback Scheme use
Paintback CEO Karen Gomez thanked the Bundaberg Region community for its support of the scheme and said it was a huge step forward in creating a more environmentally conscious world.
“Our success is only possible through support from Australians, and collaboration with industry leaders, paint sellers, government and about 100 local councils who help us operate,” Ms Gomez said.
“Bundaberg Regional Council and its residents have been a vital part of this success story through operating and maintaining Paintback collection points in the Bundaberg Region area.”
“They have helped Paintback live up to its values of being responsible, collaborative, inclusive and innovative, while inspiring people to live sustainably and make a real difference in keeping unwanted paint out of landfill.
“Thanks to them we are ready to seize the opportunities of the next five years to divert more paint from landfill and develop new uses for unwanted paint and plastic paint pails.”
By the end of June this year, Australians are on track to have safely disposed of almost 30 million kilograms of paint and packaging since Paintback started five years ago.
Paintback aims to have 90 per cent of unwanted paint diverted into Australia’s budding circular economy – where products are re-used or are repurposed for other manufacturing or industry processes to keep them circulating instead of being discarded permanently.
“Paint already contributes to circular economy by conserving and refurbishing a vast array of buildings and assets. We are investigating new ways of putting unwanted paint into circulation and creating new markets for Australia’s unwanted paint,” Ms Gomez said.
“We want household paint to become a showcase for the circular economy.”