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Pollution Prevention - Home & Garden Tips

In the yard

  • Keep your trash can/dumpster area clean and closed. Any garbage which ends up on the ground can be carried away and pollute your creeks. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean the area.
  • Minimize your use of fertilizers and pesticides around your property. If you must use them, choose less toxic alternatives. Apply in dry weather and avoid watering after use.
  • Keep lawn and yard clippings contained, away from gutters and storm drains.
  • Dispose of animal waste properly; throw away in a garbage can or toilet.

Around Parking Areas and in Garages

  • Keep your yard, household and automotive chemicals stored in a cool, dry place without leaks. Any old containers or leaky containers of these chemicals must be recycled or properly disposed of at a Household Toxics Waste Facility to prevent pollution.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean parking areas. Auto leaks on concrete may be soaked up using kitty litter or other absorbent material, then swept up and disposed of properly.
  • Recycle used motor oil, antifreeze, oil filters and other household toxics.
  • Soapy car wash water harms plants and aquqatic life. Consider using little or no soap (even biodegradable soaps don't break down soon enough to avoid killing organisms in the creeks), and try to wash on gravel or grass. If possible, use a commercial car wash which recycles their wash water.
  • Dump the bucket of extra soapy water into a sink or toilet.

Around your home improvement projects

  • Using Concrete - Sweep up concrete, aggregate, or other dust and waste materials to throw away into the garbage. Do not rinse down the gutter. Concrete mixes have chemicals that will poison creek life.
  • Using Paint - Rinse any latex paint contaminated brushes and rollers in the sink, not outdoors (send it to the sanitary treatment plant and not to the creek). Bring used paint thinner or any solvents or other chemicals to a Household Toxics Waste Facility.
  • Using Barbeques - The build up of burnt food that cakes on the grill is poisonous to animals in the creeks, even in low concentrations. Avoid cleaning off grills onto paved areas which will rinse into the gutters and creeks.
Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website, users are advised to contact appropriate Permit Sonoma staff before making project decisions. This may involve contacting more than one section within Permit Sonoma(e.g. Building, Plan Check, Zoning, Well & Septic, etc.) since each section implements specific codes or ordinances which may affect your project.
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Permit and Resource Management Department County of Sonoma