Household Pollutant Collection


We normally don’t think of our houses as sources of pollution, but when you consider all of the chemicals under the sink and in the garage, it becomes obvious that a typical home can have more types of toxic chemicals than many industries. Pesticides, fertilizers, solvents, grease, oils, degreasers, gasoline, antifreeze, strong detergents, oil based paints, thinners, and herbicides are just some of the common household pollutants.
Improper chemical storage in homes can result in poisoning of pets and people, fires, serious injuries and structural damage.  Often these materials are stored past their shelf life in containers that leak or are not properly labeled. Leftover chemicals are often poured into containers that are poorly labeled, if at all. Sometimes chemicals are mixed together in potentially dangerous blends.

WHAT NOT TO DO:  Do not put household chemical wastes in the regular trash. Those oily trails along the curbs are wastes that dripped from the refuse trucks as the containers were crushed leaking the chemicals onto the street. Do not pour chemicals down a stormdrain. Every storm drain empties directly into a creek or stream: it does not go to any type of treatment plant or system.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Utilize one of many collection events in our area. The Metropolitan Environmental Trust (The M.e.t.) in Tulsa provides for semi-annual collections of household pollutants at the Tulsa fairgrounds for members of The M.e.t, and they operate many area recycling centers. Visit the M.e.t. website for more information, and to see if your city participates in the M.e.t. events for its citizens to use.

Many GCSA municipalities are members of The M.e.t. and use its recycling and collection events as important means to reduce illicit discharges to their storm sewer systems.  Other GCSA members have their own local household pollutant collection events and recycling programs. Please contact your city’s stormwater coordinator to learn more about your local pollutant collection options.