Since the Fuquay-Varina ReStore began a paint recycling program in November 2015 — the only project of it’s kind in North Carolina — the store has reprocessed more than 3,000 gallons of paint that might otherwise have been put in the landfill or left to dry.
The program, known as ReStore ReMix, was conceived by the ReStore management team and realized by Fuquay ReStore manager Ryan Stein and a regular ReStore volunteer, Tony Borzillo. Capitalizing on Ryan’s experience dealing with hazardous materials during his time in the military and Tony’s chemical knowledge from his work as a contractor, the two set up a paint recycling center in the back of the Fuquay-Varina store. Tony now runs the program during his three volunteer shifts each week.
To start the process, Tony sorts paint donations by color group and sheen. After accumulating about 55 gallons of a color group and sheen, he mixes the paint and then filters the mixture three times to remove lint from paint rollers and brushes, dust, and other dirt that may have been trapped in the original paint. The entire process takes about three days, although Tony often has multiple batches running at one time and averages 600 gallons a month.
After the new paint has been filtered, it is re-branded as ReMix paint and poured into one- and five-gallon recycled buckets. The Fuquay-Varina store team huddles up to brainstorm a North Carolina-themed name for the new hue, and the buckets hit the shelves in all five ReStores in Wake County.
One gallon of improperly disposed paint can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water, so instead of throwing away leftover paint, donate it to any of the five ReStores! Those cans will make their way to the Fuquay-Varina store, where they will be turned into new paint and see a second life. In order for donated paint to be recycled in the ReMix program, it must be in the original buckets with clearly labeled contents.
There are a lot of reasons to feel good about purchasing ReMix paint: it’s environmentally friendly, it’s inexpensive, and the dollars go to support Habitat Wake’s mission to build safe, affordable housing in Wake County.