What is the Community RePaint network?

Community RePaint is a network of reuse schemes. Our schemes across the UK collect reusable, leftover paint from paint manufacturers, retailers, decorators, waste contractors and Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) and redistribute it to individuals, families, communities and charities in need.

How many Community RePaint schemes are there?

There are over 70 Community RePaint schemes across the UK.

Who runs the schemes?

Schemes are run by a whole range of host organisations including furniture reuse organisations, scrapstores, community recyclers and local authorities. Each Community RePaint scheme is autonomous and individual, operating to a basic operational model but with individual variations according to the type and ethos of the host organisation.

Each scheme signs a service level agreement to join the Community RePaint Network which is managed by Resource Futures (an environmental consultancy), and the network is sponsored by Dulux.

Who can get paint from Community RePaint schemes?

Paint is distributed to a whole range of community groups, sports clubs, amateur theatre groups, arts groups, housing associations (for their tenants) and low income families and individuals.

Most schemes will make a small charge of up to £2 per litre, which contributes towards the scheme becoming sustainable.

Why does Community RePaint only collect certain types of paint? 

Community RePaint schemes only collect domestic paint that has been manufactured for general household painting tasks. No specialist, industrial or hazardous paints are collected. This is so that workers at Community RePaint schemes are not exposed to undue hazards e.g. skin or respiratory irritants. There are also complex rules and regulations for the handling and storage of hazardous materials which Community RePaint schemes need to adhere to.

Does Community RePaint collect leftover paint from private houses? 

Our schemes are not be able to accept paint from individuals at their premises or collect paint from homes. Our schemes work with local authorities to collect paint from householders via their HWRCs. At these HWRCs you are able to drop off your paint which will be collect by a scheme and transported to their premises where it will be checked and then sold at a low cost.

Is all paint mixed together into a horrible brown colour? 

No! At the majority of schemes the paint is kept in its original container and not mixed or blended. Occasionally, some schemes may consolidate part full containers of the same type and brand of paint in order to provide full containers for their customers.

Will schemes accept part full containers or containers with only a bit of paint left in? 

Yes. If your container is around half full or more, our schemes will consider accepting the paint. Individuals can pass their paint on via drop off points at HWRCs. Painters, retailers and manufacturers can contact us directly with details of the paint.

Can I put my unwanted paint in the bin?

When paint is put in a wheelie bin, it can cause considerable damage and mess to waste collection facilities and so this should be avoided at all cost. It is only acceptable to put paint in a bin if it is completely dried up.

If the paint is still liquid, reusable and the container is around half full, check to see if there is a drop off point in your area where the paint can be passed on for reuse. If you don’t have a drop off point in your area you could pass it on to others in your community via websites like Gumtree, Freegle and Freecycle. Alternatively, contact your local authority for advice on how to dispose of paint in your area.

Paint should never be poured directly into a sink or down the drain or sewer.

Why isn’t there a Community RePaint scheme in my area?

The majority of Community RePaint schemes are run by not-for-profit organisations and community groups. This means the presence of a Community RePaint scheme in your area is dependent on there being a local organisation or a willing local authority which wishes to run a scheme.

If you are part of an organisation or group which would like to run a Community RePaint scheme in your area, please contact us.

What can I do with my unwanted, reusable paint if there isn’t a Community RePaint scheme in my area?

If there is not a Community RePaint scheme nearby, consider whether you can donate the paint for reuse to a local community group, charity, local probation service (they may be able to use it for community refurbishment projects undertaken by offenders), youth or church group, art college, amateur dramatic society, sports club, neighbour, work colleague, relative or friend. For larger quantities of reasonable quality paint you could also consider advertising it on Gumtree, Freegle and Freecycle.

If you are unable to find someone who can reuse the paint, disposal may be your final option. You should contact your local authority for advice on how to dispose of paint in your area.

Where can I get paint for a project if there isn’t a Community RePaint scheme in my area?

Unfortunately, at present, the network does not cover all areas of the UK although we do continue to work hard to extend the number of schemes nationally. If you are not close to one of our schemes, you might try contacting DIY retailers or local decorating suppliers as they may have end-of-line or damaged tins of paint to donate. Some supermarkets also sell paint and may have surplus paint available. You can also try other high street retailers who sell paint such as Laura Ashley and Next stores.

I don’t have a car, how can I donate my surplus paint?

If you don’t have a car, try asking a friend, relative, neighbour or work colleague to assist you in taking paint to a drop off point. Unfortunately, schemes often have limited funds and staff time so are unable to carry out collections from private households. If you have quite a large amount of paint to donate, your local project may be able to consider a one-off collection and you should contact them directly to discuss this.