A new initiative is aiming to help tackle the waste stream in Ireland in a colourful way - by upcycling paint that would otherwise be exported for treatment.
Revive Paint, launched this week by Cork County Council and Cork City Council to mark National Reuse Month, involves the recycling of old paint collected from local authority civic amenity sites by two Cork based social enterprises.
The upcycled paint from Northside Community Enterprise (NCE) in Farranferris, and Cycle Sense, Skibbereen, is high quality and affordable, according to the councils.
“Revive Paint is such a great initiative and an example of how we should be looking more at the values of the past to solve today’s problems. Our parents and grandparents had a very practical approach to waste. They constantly looked at reusing things rather than throwing them away,” said Mayor of the County of Cork Gillian Coughlan.
“As part of Revive Paint, both Cycle Sense and NCE are taking a waste product and restoring it into something beautiful that can be used in our homes and businesses. They are saving people money and helping the environment.”
Up to 190 tonnes of paint are collected at civic amenity sites in Cork annually and generally exported for treatment. Approximately 60% of the waste paint is water-based, which can be reused and upcycled.
The initiative is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has allowed for new setups in NCE and Cycle Sense, as well as training for staff in filtering, remixing, recolouring and repackaging paint.
Since June, when production first began, the two enterprises have diverted over 2.5 tonnes of paint from the wastestream.
The Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr Colm Kelleher, said that he had visited the NCE site and that the project had received positive feedback from local communities.
“Both projects are also delivering for their local economy in terms of job creation and reducing the costs for individuals, community groups and businesses who are using the paint,” he said.
“NCE and Cycle Sense are getting fantastic feedback from happy customers and it’s great to see such social enterprises thriving.”