The chemicals and other products we use for car and home maintenance – if disposed of improperly – can cause damage to the environment and to our community. The key to keeping our community and environment healthy is by properly disposing of these pollution sources. Avoid accidental pollution discharges by following the tips below.
Pesticides and Fertilizers
- Fertilize in the fall!
- Avoid applying pesticides and fertilizers when rain is predicted.
- Use non-toxic alternatives when possible, such as compost.
Talk to Your Contractor About Preventing Pollution Before They Begin Work
- Ask your contractor how and where they plan to rinse their equipment. or dispose of leftover materials. Provide access to a utility sink if needed to ensure that wash water will not run off the property and down a storm drain.
- Ask your contractor where they will dispose of leftover materials, debris and trash. Ensure that items that can blow away or be washed away are covered and secured so that they cannot be blow or washed down a storm drain.
- If your project will disturb the soil, cover the area with hay or mulch when work is finished for the day, or before rain to prevent erosion.
- Work materials such as concrete, paint or dirt, should never be left where they can wash or be blown into the road and down the storm drain.
Washing Your Car
- Take your car to a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes send their dirty water to a waste water treatment plant.
Changing Your Oil
- Check your car for oil leaks on a regular basis. Place a piece of cardboard under the car and check it after a few hours.
- If you find a leak, take your car to a shop to prevent oil from running into the storm drain.
- Dispose of used motor oil at your local household hazardous waste disposal site.
Mowing Your Lawn
- When mowing your lawn, leave the lawn clippings on the grass as free fertilizer.
- Do not blow clippings into the street or sidewalks where they can be washed into storm drains.
Find your local community’s information on our Home Maintenance Resources page.