A law signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2011 regulating the recycling of latex and oil-based paints went into effect July 1. The law mandates paint manufacturers create and pay for an easy, cost-effective and  environmentally responsible program to manage consumers’ unused or leftover paint. Now an official recycling program is in place and set to begin this month.

To alleviate a deluge of paint being taken to collection centers, free paint-only drop-off days have been scheduled across the state on seven Saturdays. These events are open to residents and businesses from any town in Connecticut.

Consumers may also drop off old paint at the Wilton True Value hardware store, which began collecting paint as per the state’s recycling program on July 1.

True Value store manager Tom Sato said, “Each True Value can choose whether to accept the paint as part of the state’s program. We are choosing to accept the paint. We started accepting recycled paint on July 1, the same day the program started.”

For Mr. Sato, the program is an excellent addition to his business. Before this program, he said, his employees had to explain that the customer had to let the paint dry out, then chip it out before throwing out the cans. Now there’s an easy way to make sure the paint gets disposed of properly.

“We think it’s a good idea,” he added, “We have tons of people coming in without any idea what to do with their leftover paint.”

The regional collection dates were arranged by Paint Care Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based product stewardship organization for the paint industry. Nearby sites where paint will be collected from 9 to 1 are:

• July 20 — Fairfield Ward High School, 755 Melville Avenue, Fairfield;

• Aug. 3 — Danbury Public Works, 52A Newtown Road, Danbury.

For the upcoming drop-off days, households may bring any amount of latex or oil-based paint to this event; however, businesses may only bring latex paint because the state of Connecticut requires businesses be “pre-screened” to make sure they qualify. If a business has oil-based paint to recycle, call 855-724-6809 for information on how to recycle non-latex products.

To be accepted at the collection day, containers must have original labels. This event is for the following products only:

• House paint and primers (latex or oil-based);

• Stains;

• Deck and concrete sealers;

• Clear finishes (e.g., varnishes, shellac).

Not acceptable are:

• Leaking, unlabeled or empty containers;

• Aerosol spray paints;

• Drums or containers larger than five gallons;

• Other hazardous waste or chemicals, such as paint thinner, solvents, motor oil, spackle, glue, adhesive, roofing tar, pesticides, and cleaning chemicals.

The paint recycling program is funded by a recovery fee added to the purchase price of paint at retailers throughout the state. The recovery fee will range from 35 cents to $1.60 depending on paint container size.

Information: paintcare.org or 855-724-6809.