Research conducted by environmental consultancy Resource Futures shows that the UK paint reuse network of 65 Community RePaint projects collected 450,000 litres of paint, with a market value of £1.75m, in 2007, that would otherwise have gone to landfill or other waste treatment. Fifty per cent of the paint was leftover “half-tins” donated by the public at council waste sites. The other 50% was end-of-range and discontinued lines, dented tins, etc donated by DIY retailers and manufacturers and decorators.

The paint was then offered for use by local charities, community groups and individuals in social need to brighten up and their living and work environments. Community RePaint Torbay enlisted 200 volunteers to completely redecorate the premises of a local charity that makes specialist toys for disabled children while 60 amateur cricket clubs across England and Wales used 5, 000 litres from Community RePaint to redecorate their club houses and grounds for the NatWest Cricket Force national initiative.

The volume collected by the network in 2007 of 450,000 litres is almost double that of the previous year (235,000 litres). Community RePaint project manager Mark Gregory said “This is a fantastic performance by the network and a number of individual projects have contributed significantly to the figures. The results also evidence the hard work from a specific Lottery-funded programme, aimed at increasing material donated by householders, which, among other aspects, involved creating a new project website” (

However, he went on to say, “Despite this success, more work needs to be done with national charities and the voluntary and community organisations to promote awareness of free and low-cost paint for the third sector. Of the volume of paint collected, 250,000 litres was redistributed to organisations and individuals in social need, leaving a large amount still in storage, awaiting use by local charitable projects. Resource Futures is working to develop more links with national third sector organisations to increase awareness of the project through their networks and anyone interested in this should get in touch.”

Operation of the Community RePaint network in 2007 saw 6 new part-time jobs and 45 new volunteer positions created while 55 training courses in subjects such as health and safety, risk assessments, manual handling, etc were rolled out by projects. Mark Gregory said “This gives disadvantaged people such as the long-term unemployed and people with learning disabilities a helping hand back into working life and regular employment and illustrates another aspect of how Community RePaint assists the less fortunate in society.

The UK Community RePaint network is managed by Resource Futures who provide technical assistance and support to individual projects while promoting the initiative to other sectors. Community RePaint has been sponsored by Dulux since its inception in 1993 as part of Dulux’s ongoing sustainability programme.

More StoriesTell us your story