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WIVB Feature

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s something leaders in the industry are calling a “major” problem. Especially in both Niagara and Erie counties.

There’s no good way to get rid of extra paint. And recycling it? Not exactly an easy process.

But Sarah Battaglia, 28, from Tonawanda wants to change that and, perhaps save the environment in the process.

Paul Leahey, President of Schuele Paint Company says, he knows there is a lot of excess paint lying around. “It has to be a huge problem everywhere.”

Battaglia tells us it’s not doing our environment any good. She said, “It’s expensive to dispose of, ten times more than your regular trash. There’s all of these empty paint cans in the landfill that are wasting air space, that could have been at least crushed before they went to the landfill.”

The average household stores sixty pounds of excess paint, and most towns don’t have enough money to manage paint recycling programs. So, Battaglia created Olive Ridley paints.

Her plan is to sell recycled paint and then use that money to fund the paint recycling process. She said, “The idea is that, eventually we would be able to take those proceeds to pay Recyclers’ for their paint, we could create a new market and supply chain and a demand for paint recycling.”

But how extra paint gets from your basement to her paint cans, isn’t an easy one. It’s sorted, batched blended and tested at a plant in Canada before it ends up in Olive Ridley’s packaging

Battaglia said, “In each gallon, there’s probably up to 50 different paints from 50 different homes all over a large geographic area that came together to create our recycled content paint.”

Battaglia eventually wants to make it free or even profitable for you to recycle. She said, “So ideally, I’d like to say, for every gallon of paint we’ve sold, we’ve recycled one gallon for free.”

And in the process, changing misconceptions about what it means when “recycled paint” ends up on your walls. She said, “It’s not mis-tinted, it’s actually from homes, and it’s come a long way and its found a second life.”

Now she’s looking for some leaders in the architecture, design and construction worlds to switch to recycled paint to make a difference in the industry across the state.


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