Where do you go to find 20 colors of recycled paint at the attractive price of $16 per gallon? The Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore of course! But where did the ReStore team go to learn all about how to recycle paint? Just up the road from one of our own ReStore locations in Fridley Minnesota, home of Amazon Paint.
ReStore staff received a warm welcome from Kari Potter and Marty Bergstedt, who gave us a tour of the facility and explained the unique process involved in the recycling of usable latex paint. Many paint retailers, including the two metro ReStore home improvement outlets, accept up to 5 gallons of old paint as part of PaintCare, Minnesota’s paint reclamation partner. Those excess pails from your basement or garage become the raw materials for initiating the process of recycled paint. Each incoming container, approximately 1.5 million gallons of latex paint per year, is inspected for usability, and gets sorted by color. The Amazon Paint facility holds this paint in reserve until it's needed to create larger batches that match one of twenty Amazon colors.
Keeping every color in stock has been one of the ReStore’s challenges, but picking up a pallet from just a few miles up the road speeds up the logistics. Grant Carlson explains, “I was really surprised at how small scale and non-automated the operation turned out to be. I was expecting assembly lines and conveyor belts and things like that, but it was just like ten dudes, a forklift and a couple crowbars.” Amazon Paint supplies recycled paint to a long list of retailers and wholesalers, so Twin Cities Habitat ReStore is just a small portion of their client base. Grant Carlson continues, “I think it's seriously great that they're able to put out such a good product with such a small staff, AND to put out so much of it!”
Kari Potter, Senior Business Manger at Amazon Paint, explains, “Our goal at Amazon Paint is to supply a premium quality, interior/exterior product at a value prices to our retail and wholesale customers. We are proud of our product, and happy that we are keeping 1.5 million gallon of paint from the landfills in Minnesota every year.”
Jan Hagerman has educated many shoppers at the New Brighton ReStore regarding the unique aspects of the locally made product. She says, “The $16 price point and great recycling story resonates for our ReStore shoppers. We have to explain that this paint is available in a low-sheen only and that we also stock a few of the most popular colors in 5 gallon buckets. Contractors have been coming back a second and third time and they are a tough crowd to please! I was surprised the first time I used Amazon Paint on one of our DIY projects. The paint coats well and cleanup is a snap.”
The next time you are checking out the deals at the New Brighton or Minneapolis ReStore, grab a gallon of Amazon Paint and give it a try!