ST. CLOUD -- A new state program designed to encourage Minnesotans to recycle old paint has exceeded expectations in its first year. PaintCare took in more than one-million gallons of old paint, or 26% more than anticipated.

The program signed up paint stores and hardware stores to act as drop-off sites around the state. It's paid for through an up-front fee whenever we buy new paint.

Mimbach Fleet Supply Paint Department Manager Steve Gumiela says the program accepts common household paints that are latex or oil-based.  He says they can't accept other chemicals for recycling.

Stearns County has had a household hazardous waste recycling program for decades. Stearns County Household Hazardous Waste spokesman Troy Freihammer says the new program hasn't hurt their collection site.  He says they are able to take more volume of oil or latex paint, but also a larger variety of products.

Freihammer says they also take old gasoline, garden chemicals, household chemicals and fluorescent bulbs...things the PaintCare program can't accept.

The Stearns County Household Hazardous Waste facility is located at 3601 5th St S, Waite Park near Mills Fleet Farm.