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Trash and Waste Disposal 

We’ve all seen overflowing trash cans and garbage on the side of the road. These small amounts of litter can add up to a big water quality problem. When it rains, litter and garbage can clog storm drains and cause flooding, which can damage homes and businesses. Trash and litter that does pass through the storm drain or travel down a drainage ditch washes directly into nearby rivers and streams, harming drinking water supplies, wildlife and recreational use of our rivers and streams.

This type of waste isn’t the only culprit when it comes to polluting our waterways. Household hazardous waste such as fluorescent light bulbs, paint thinner, stains, varnishes, and lithium batteries also plays a role. When these items don’t end up in their proper disposal place, they can contaminate ground and surface water, enter stormwater and cause fish kills, and potentially injure others. They also can harm us directly, through unintended side-effects, improper use, or accidental poisoning.

How to prevent it:

  • Make sure all trash ends up in the garbage can.

  • Purchase non-hazardous household items.

  • Never dispose of paints or stains down the storm drain. Instead take them to your local drop-off site.

  •  When painting your house, make sure to pick up any paint chips that may get carried away.

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