You may not realize it, but your home is likely filled with all sorts of possible pollutants. Many everyday products such as paint and lawn chemicals can be dangerous if used or stored improperly, and cause serious environmental damage if tossed in the trash, poured down the sink or washed into the storm sewers. The improper disposal of household wastes can cause problems for the entire community. Wastes can be explosive or highly flammable. Sewers have exploded and garbage trucks have burned because people have carelessly discarded flammable or reactive wastes. Some wastes are poisonous to humans or wildlife, while others can cause cancer, birth defects or other serious medical problems.
What can you do?
Read the information below to find out how you can reduce the amount of pollutants you generate, make sure you are storing and transporting such products properly, and most importantly, dispose of your leftover pollutants properly at the Household Pollutant Collection Facility.
Reducing household pollutants
Storing your pollutants
If you are unsure of your storage situation, call the experts: Fire Department Hazmat Unit: (918) 596-1255; Tulsa City-County Health Dept.: (918) 582-9355; Stormwater and Land Management: (918) 591-4325.
Transporting your pollutants to a collection facility
Proper Use and Disposal of Latex Paint
Use: If possible, use latex paint instead of oil-based or other paints which require a solvent to clean up. Buy only the amount of paint you need. Most paints list approximate coverage on the label. Measure the area to be painted, simply by multiplying the length of the area by the height. This will give you total square feet. Then measure the area that will not be painted, such as doors and subtract this number from the total square feet to determine the actual area to be painted. Note that different surfaces and colors may require more paint. Ask a sales clerk for assistance in purchasing the correct amount.
Disposal: The best way to dispose of paint is to use it up. If you cannot find use for the paint, give it to someone who can, such as friends, neighbors, schools and community service organizations. Liquid paint should not be poured down the drain, dumped on the ground, or thrown in the trash (when still liquid). Oil-based paint should be tightly sealed in its original container and saved for a local household hazardous waste collection day. Latex, or water-based paints can be left to dry by removing the lid and sitting the can out of the reach of children. When thoroughly dry, the hardened material can be discarded with regular trash. The steel paint can be recycled if there is only a thin coating of latex paint in the can. (Excerpted from the Eaton County Resource Recovery Guide)