Residents planning to attend the Conservation Commission’s Household Hazardous Waste Day on Oct. 26, are reminded to leave the paint cans at home.

Long a substantial source of the waste brought to the event, latex and oil-based paints, primers, sealers, and varnishes may be brought to area retailers on an ongoing basis. There is no longer a need to stockpile and wait for the annual collection day. Keough’s Hardware, Wilton Hardware, and Sherwin-Williams are among the collections points.

The new paint recycling program was devised by a nonprofit organization, PaintCare, in response to paint stewardship legislation. The program shifts the cost of disposal to the paint purchaser as opposed to the municipal tax base previously used to pay for household hazardous waste collections.  The fee needed to cover the cost of disposal will be collected at the point of purchase at a rate of 35 cents for pints and quarts, 75 cents for one gallon, and $1.60 for larger containers, up to five gallons.

Latex, which is not hazardous, was dropped from the town’s collection day several years ago. Even so, residents still brought water-based paint. For some, not knowing what is water-based and what is oil-based left them to err on the side of caution. For others, the collection day was a choice of convenience. Either way, the town was needlessly paying $50-$100 or more for each car that brought paint.

With PaintCare’s program, residents will not need to decipher the lingo that establishes paint as either water-based or oil-based; it can all go to the same drop point all year round.

This will mark the last year Wilton’s Household Hazardous Waste Day will accept any paint, acknowledging some residents may not be aware of the change. Municipal tax dollars will be used to pay for any paint brought, so the Conservation Commission is strongly encouraging those who know of the PaintCare alternative to bring the unwanted paint to area retailers.

In recognition of limited storage space, retailers are limiting the amount any one person can drop off to four gallons per week. Aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural uses are not accepted. These item should be brought to the Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Commercial disposal can be arranged directly with PaintCare.

Wilton’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection  will be Saturday at Miller-Driscoll School from 9 to 3.

Information: call Mike Conklin at 203-563-0180 or email Mike.Conklin@wiltonct.org.