Community RePaint Wirral was adopted by Wirral Reuse business, Recipro, a year ago this month. RePaint is part of a national programme to reduce the amount of paint being disposed of every year. Paint is collected from a variety of sources, and then sold on to community groups, charities and local people for just £1 per litre plus VAT. Paint reuse was a natural and exciting addition to the existing building materials reuse store Recipro launched in 2011.

In 2012 336.5 million litres of paint (retail and trade) were sold in the UK. Of this, it is estimated that approximately 50 million litres are unused, stored in homes or garages or just thrown away. That’s enough paint to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

The Community RePaint Scheme at Wirral has collected over 15,500 litres of paint in its first year, far exceeding all expectations. That’s enough to paint an estimated 1.2 million square foot of wall. The scheme has seen month on month growth and in June alone almost 2,500 litres were redistributed. Mike Close, Operations Manager at Recipro, said “We’re thrilled to have seen such success in our first year of running RePaint. We are not only reducing a huge waste problem, but we’re helping local organisations and residents to improve their homes, offices and community buildings without it costing them a fortune.”

One of the partners of the scheme is Veolia, who operate Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the Merseyside area. The HWRCs are operated as part of a 20 year contract with the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), the authority responsible for waste disposal on behalf of all Merseyside Councils. Unwanted paint is dropped off at several centres by local residents and until recently was disposed of to landfill. In the first year of the partnership almost 9000 litres of paint has been collected by the Recipro scheme from Veolia HWRCs, the majority of which has already been reused in the local community. Mike Wake, Assistant Contract Manager at Veolia Merseyside & Halton Ltd said “Working closely with Recipro we have established an effective working relationship which has seen steady growth of the paint reuse service. Our aim is continued growth of the business with the added social and environmental benefit of helping the local community reuse a product that was previously disposed of to landfill”.

One of the community projects who have benefited from the scheme is Team Oasis, a children’s charity in Toxteth have purchased 250 litres of paint through the scheme. Paul Nilson of the scheme said “Using the Recipro service to source low cost building materials and paint has enabled us to not only to get the project finished on cost but also on time. We were surprised by the high quality of the materials, especially the paint which is just £1 per litre. We will be using the service again and again in the future and would certainly recommend it to anyone”

Martin Pearce, Manager of the Community RePaint Network nationally praised the Wirral scheme: “Recipro have done a great job in developing Community Repaint in such a short time in the Wirral area, and are to be congratulated. The great result being thousands of litres of paint which would have been wasted has now been used to brighten up many homes and community buildings.”

To find out more about donating or purchasing paint, please contact ReciproCity Wirral on 0151 639 0651 or


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