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Fill ‘er Up: Lexington Habitat ReStore marks milestone with 300th batch of recycled paint

Mayor Jim Gray pours (Photo provided)

Mayor Jim Gray fills the first commemorative paint can from Lexington Habitat Restore’s 300th batch of recycled latex paint. (Photo provided)


Lexington officials and corporate leaders joined Lexington Habitat staff members to mark a milestone for the organization’s ReStore today: recycling its 300th batch of latex paint.


The 300th batch represents more than 15,000 gallons of latex paint which the Lexington Habitat ReStore has recycled since the program began in 2010. According to Director Jim Kreiner, “The quality of the recycled paint is excellent, and it has been consistently popular with shoppers in the ReStore. This represents more than 40,000 partial containers of latex paint no longer rusting away in the garages, basements and attics, and saves taxpayers waste disposal fees.”

Mayor Jim Gray filled the first commemorative paint can from the 300th batch. Gray expressed his appreciation for the program. “Thanks to Habitat for the creativity and the inventiveness this represents. Habitat is an extraordinary asset for our city.”

Latex paint is collected and recycled on site at the Lexington Habitat ReStore, located on Southland Drive. The program was initially funded in 2009 by a grant formed in partnership with Lexington Habitat for Humanity and LFUCG, with additional funding from NiSource (Columbia Gas).  

ReStore Director Jim Kreiner assists Mayor Jim Gray in filling a can of recycled paint. (Photo provided)

ReStore Director Jim Kreiner assists Mayor Jim Gray in filling a can of recycled paint. (Photo provided)

“The city of Lexington is proud of its partnership with Lexington Habitat ReStore,” said Tracey Thurman Director of Waste Management. “Since 2010, this program has provided our citizens with a convenient disposal alternative to protect our environment. This is a win-win for everyone.”

Donated paint is screened and graded by the staff and volunteers at the Lexington Habitat ReStore, then separated by color before finally being filtered again and poured into buckets or cans. The finished product is sold to the public at the Lexington Habitat ReStore. While initially grant-funded, the program is now self-sufficient and has helped Lexington Habitat for Humanity raise more than $100,000 to build homes, community and hope.

“Paint recycling is especially popular with youth volunteers,” said Michael Frey, who oversees the program at the Lexington Habitat ReStore. “Unlike a Habitat for Humanity construction site, few power tools are involved in the process, so we can accommodate a wider age-range of participants. Plus, the kids just have more fun getting a little messy. We can tell how good of a time the group has had by how much paint they’ve managed to cover themselves with, no matter how much protective gear we provide.”

Recycling latex paint is an environmentally friendly way to keep an otherwise reusable material out of landfills. “Using recycled paint saves the energy used to extract the raw materials, manufacture and transport the paint. A gallon of recycled paint saves almost 13 gallons of water and according to Washing State Department of Ecology, the energy required to produce a gallon of paint releases 115 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” Kreiner said. “Plus, in a city that takes great pride in our locally grown and produced vegetables and meats, and even our local beers and bourbons, using our own locally-made paint just seems like the next logical step.”

Paint can be donated at Lexington Habitat ReStore, located at 451 Southland Drive. Drop-off Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and the paint should be:

• latex
• newer than 1994
• never frozen
• in its original container with label intact

ReStore cannot accept oil-based paint, stains or other household chemicals.

The minimum age requirement to help the ReStore recycle latex paint is 14. To sign up, contact Catherine Mitchell, ReStore Volunteer Coordinator at 859-252-2224, ext. 150.

Volunteer groups that help Lexington ReStore staff produce each batch of latex paint are encouraged to name the colors they’ve produced. One favorite name, “Vanilla-Nova,” was produced by a group of student volunteers from Villanova University. The 300th batch of paint was named Bill Wood Blue in honor of former Lexington Habitat ReStore employee Bill Wood who helped create the Paint Recycling program.

From Lexington Habitat

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