Why We Love the Paint Exchange Program (And You Should Too)

In Campbell River, and Duncan the Island Return It Recycling Centres offer a free paint exchange and recycling program from Product Care.

Along with being the most cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative for handling leftover paint, the Paint Exchange puts paint where it belongs — on buildings, walls, and fences — and diverts it away from our sewers, dumps, and landfills.


Leftover paint is given away on an as-is, as-available basis.

There is no limit on the amount of paint an individual or organisation can take. Consumers using this service must sign a waiver form. To take advantage of this offer, simply visit one of the participating Island Return It Recycling Centres and have a look at the paint rack which is usually in a very prominent place up front. Once you’ve selected your paint bring it up to the counter where one of our friendly staff members will give you Product Care’s waiver* to sign and then you’ll be on your way.

*Please note that Product Care cannot guarantee the product quality of the leftover paint available in the exchange program.

Sometimes paint isn’t right for the exchange program and instead it gets recycled into new latex paint though companies like Loop from Ontario and Eco-Peinture from Quebec. Recycling latex paint helps keep it from leaching into the environment or finding its way into rivers and streams.

Excluded Items

There are a few items that are regularly associated with paint that we cannot accept for recycling:

  • Products that cannot be identified (unknowns)
  • Products that are leaking or improperly sealed
  • Commercial, industrial or agricultural products
  • Cosmetics, health and beauty aids
  • Insect repellents, disinfectants and pet products
  • Diesel, propane, butane fuels
  • Fertilizer
  • Acids, cleaners, bleach, and other corrosive materials
  • Brush, rollers and rags

Next time you complete a DIY project and don’t use up all your paint, instead of tossing it, bring it to the depot (first ensuring that it is properly sealed and labelled) and leave it for someone else to use.

Sidenote: As a staff member at Island Return It, I was curious about the paint exchange and the quality of the paint. I had a room (7×10 ft.) that needed painting and I was able to do that with paint from our exchange program, I was very pleased!

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