PROVIDENCE, RI – After months of negotiations, Lt. Governor Dan McKee announced his plan to reduce the inflated paint recycling fees imposed on consumers by Paint Care, the multimillion-dollar national organization responsible for Rhode Island's paint recycling program.
The Paint Care program began in Rhode Island in 2014 and charges a 75 cents per gallon fee to consumers at the point of sale. The legislation that established the program gives Paint Care the authority to arbitrarily set the fee structure without meaningful oversight from the State.
Despite Paint Care's reports that show a surplus of hundreds of thousands of dollars for its program in Rhode Island, the company refuses to lower fees.
"Paint Care is collecting more than what is necessary to run a statewide paint recycling program," said Lt. Governor McKee. "When I noticed the company's shocking surplus, I invited Paint Care to the table with Resource Recovery to negotiate a reasonable decrease in recycling fees that preserves the effectiveness of the program and lessens the unnecessary cost burden on Rhode Island consumers. Paint Care refused to compromise. Now, we are refusing to let their monopoly on determining paint recycling fees continue in Rhode Island."
Lt. Governor McKee will collaborate with the General Assembly on a plan to transfer the management of the paint recycling program back to Rhode Island Resource Recovery (RIRR). The Lt. Governor will also recommend that Paint Care transfers its surplus funds for the Rhode Island program to RIRR. In discussions with Lt. Governor McKee leading up to today's announcement, RIRR indicated a willingness to manage the paint recycling program and reduce fees by at least one third.
The Lt. Governor plans to work directly with Representative Carlos Tobon to create a more affordable paint recycling program for Rhode Island. Lt. Governor McKee and Representative Tobon worked together with other legislators last session to eliminate the keg tax charged to brewers in Rhode Island [r20.rs6.net].
The paint recycling fee issue was first brought to Lt. Governor McKee's attention by a local paint contractor during one of his small business forums in North Kingstown. Since then, Lt. Governor McKee has met with hardware store owners, paint contractors and consumers to understand the burden that this inflated fee continues to place on Rhode Islanders.