What is a Community RePaint scheme?

Schemes divert leftover paint from the waste stream by collecting and redistributing it into their local communities. As well as preventing a valuable resource from going to waste, they support those in need by supplying affordable paint for individuals, groups and charities and providing volunteering opportunities and training placements within their local community.

Schemes are run by a whole range of organisations, normally third sector community organisations, including scrapstores, community recyclers and furniture reuse organisations, as well as a few 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.

The majority of schemes collect trade and retail paint, which may be end of line, unsold or mis-tinted paint from DIY retailers and surplus paint from manufacturers. Some of the schemes will also collect post-consumer paint, from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), which is the paint leftover from home decorating projects. Once collected, the schemes sort and store the paint at their premises ready to be sold at an affordable price.

There are three main variations of the basic operational model:

    1. The vast majority of schemes are run by third sector organisations. The scheme complements the aims and services provided by the organisation as well as drawing on their existing experience of reusing materials.
    2. Some schemes are the community organisation in themselves, as they operate solely as a Community RePaint scheme. All their time and focus is on collecting paint for reuse in their local community.
    3. A small number of schemes are run by local authorities or waste management companies. They operate at HWRCs where householders can drop off their paint in the Community RePaint container (but not traders or retailers). From here, individuals, groups and charities can collect the paint.

Community RePaint staff in Cambridge who divert leftover paint from the wastestream. All five staff pictured are holding up containers of paint for sale.

Setting up a scheme

We have produced a short guide to setting up a Community RePaint scheme which you can download here: Community RePaint: Getting Started.

As a scheme we will provide you with a range of on-going support including:

      • technical advice and practical support on how to divert leftover paint from the waste stream,
      • guidance on relevant legislation,
      • liaison with local authorities and statutory bodies,
      • the Community RePaint Technical Manual,
      • publicity materials, and
      • advice on funding and income streams.


As a member of the Community RePaint network you will have access to:

    • copies of the monthly Paint Pad which shares good practice and knowledge from within the network,
    • national deals brokered with retailers and manufacturers,
    • technical documents and advice,
    • publicity for your scheme – inclusion on the Community RePaint website and support creating publicity materials,
    • our annual network days to meet other schemes and share knowledge,
    • links to other voluntary and community sector programmes and services,
    • funding bids on behalf of the network, and
    • access to the ‘Members’ Area’ of the website.

Application form

Once you’ve read our ‘Getting Started’ guide, you’ll need to complete an application form, return to us via e-mail and we’ll take it from there.