Household FAQ's


  • What is Paintback?

    Paintback is a waste paint and packaging collection scheme for architectural and decorative paint. It aims to divert waste paint and packaging from landfill.  Paintback is an industry initiative to divert architectural and decorative waste paint from landfill. Run as an independent, not-for-profit company it will collect and treat waste paint through participating sites around Australia.

    It is the responsible way for households and professional painters to dispose of left-over paint and packaging.

  • Why do we need Paintback?

    Unwanted architectural and decorative paint and left-over packaging is a high volume waste that needs management to minimise health and environment risks to the community.

    Paintback aims to collect 45,000,000 kilograms nationally over the next 5 years.

  • Where is my nearest Paintback site?

    Please refer to the find a location on this website for current collection sites.

    Paintback continues to establish sites throughout Australia. These are purpose built for the safe management of traffic and storage of waste paint and packaging. They will accept up to 100 litres per visit in containers of 20 litres or less. Waste paint cannot be accepted at retail or trade centre outlets.

  • I don’t have a collection site near me, what do I do?

    As Paintback is just beginning, it has started with a number of collection points in major population and regional centres. It is currently within 20km of 60% of the population.

    People with waste paint can use any participating Paintback collection point. So if there is a site somewhere along the way to a common destination, you can use that.

    New sites are rolling out all the time. Keep connected with Paintback here on our website, or follow Paintback on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, to find out where the new sites are.

    Households can continue to use council hazardous waste collection services while Paintbackrolls out.

    Check out:


  • How much paint can I drop off at Paintback?

    Paintback accepts a maximum of 100 litres in volume per visit. This must be carried in containers no larger than 20 litres.  See Example below.  This is to ensure that Paintback collection sites are not overwhelmed by large volumes of waste paint quickly. The container size limit ensures safe manual handling of the paint from your vehicle at the collection point.  


    You can return:

    • Up to 5 x 20 litre paint cans
    • Up to 10 x 10 litre paint cans
    • Up to 50 X 2 litre paint cans
  • How is Paintback funded?

    To fund the collection and treatment of the waste paint and packaging a levy of 15 cents (plus GST) per litre is applied to the wholesale price of eligible products in containers over 1 Litre and up to 20 Litres sold in retail stores and paint trade centres.

  • What will the funding be used for?

    Funds will be used for paying the cost of transport, collection and treatment of the waste paint and packaging. It will also pay for education and promotion of the scheme to encourage people to use it. Paintback will also use some of the funds for research into new and improved ways to deal with waste paint and packaging.

  • What paint companies are involved?

    DuluxGroup, Haymes, PPG, Resene, Rust-Oleum & Wattyl.Together they represent 90% of the Architectural & Decorative paint sold in Australia. Paintback is working with other companies to join to have as much coverage as possible.

  • Why is there GST on the levy?

    The levy represents the cost of collecting and treating the paint. GST applies to all goods and services. The Australian Tax Office has provided a ruling that GST applies to the Paintbacklevy.

  • Can I leave my waste paint where I purchased it?

    No. Paintback uses purpose-built collection and storage points at participating councils.

    Paint and hardware stores are convenient locations to buy new paint, but retail and trade outlets are not equipped or licensed to handle waste paint and cannot accept it.

    Paintback sites can receive left-over paint and packaging, which are also designed for customer safety when dropping off paint.

  • What happens to the waste paint?

    Households and trade painters take their unwanted paint and packaging to a Paintback site located at participating councils. The waste paint and packaging is stored at the collection point ready for Paintback to pick it up.

    Paintback transports it from the collection point for treatment. The packaging and waste liquid are separated.The containers are recycled.Waste Paint is treated in a number of ways including energy recovery for solvent and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint, significantly minimising landfill over current practices.

  • Is Paintback a scheme to make more profits?

    The levy funds collected will go to Paintback Ltdwhich is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

    Its governing rules ensure that these funds will be used to establish and operate the collection program and research new ways to repurpose unwanted paint materials.

    The funding pays to reduce the end of life issues with waste paint and packaging, it does not go back to the participating paint companies.

  • Can I drop off paint cans with dried up paint in them?

    Yes, you can return and drop-off paint cans with dried paint in them.

  • How much paint packaging can I return?

    Packaging includes only plastic and metal containers in which paint was originally sold in. 

    Paintback accepts up to 100 litres per visit. The 100 litre maximum is based on the capacity of the container, not the volume of waste paint left in a container.

    Paint products must be secured in the containers they were originally bought in. 

    Only empty containers can be stacked inside larger empty containers as long as the largest container size does not exceed 20 litres. This practice allows our collection sites to maximise space in the collection bins and provides everyone the opportunity to use the bins safely.


  • What paint products are accepted by Paintback?

    For a list of accepted products please click this link.

    Accepted Products

  • Who pays for Paintback?

    All DIY households and trade painters who purchase eligible participating paint brands fund the scheme through the levy.

  • Why does Paintback put a limit on how much waste paint I can take back?

    Paintback accepts a maximum of 100 litres per visit (see example below), stowed in containers of not more than 20lt.This is to ensure that its collection points are not overwhelmed by large volumes of waste paint quickly.The container size limit ensures safe manual handling of the paint from your car at the collection point.         


    You can return:

    Up to 5 x 20 litre paint cans 
    Up to 10 x 10 litre paint cans 
    Up to 50 X 2 litre paint cans