SOURCE: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

May 15, 2007 14:00 ET

It Is Spring Cleaning Season

Keep the Watershed Clean Too!

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 15, 2007 -- Ready to do some household spring cleaning? The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works reminds you to help keep the watershed clean while you are at it. Many items found in homes, garages, and yards can cause serious stormwater pollution if they are washed down the gutter into the storm drains and allowed to flow untreated through watersheds to a local waterway or the ocean. Last year, more than 300 tons of garbage and pollutants washed into local waterways -- that's enough to fill the Rose Bowl two stories deep!

"Everyone can prevent stormwater pollution by taking simple steps, such as taking household cleaning or pesticide materials to a Household Hazardous Waste/E-Waste collection event," said Emma Ayala, Public Relations Group Head, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. "And make sure to put all yard waste, pet waste, and household trash in the garbage."

Ayala points out that yard waste contains pesticides and other contaminants, and pet waste introduces dangerous bacteria into watershed environments.

"Just remember -- if you wouldn't put it in a children's swimming pool, then don't put it in the gutter," said Ayala.

Cooperation is Key

Just to make sure all "Do-It-Yourselfers" get the message, the County is teaming up with local businesses like Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) to spread the word. OSH customers will find tip cards in OSH stores that offer simple steps for proper disposal of household hazardous waste.

"OSH is deeply committed to protecting the environment, and we are proud to be a part of the effort to help prevent stormwater pollution in Los Angeles," said OSH President and CEO Rob Lynch.

Helpful tips:

--  Never dispose of paint or paint-related products into the gutters or
    storm drains.  This is illegal dumping.
--  Do not blow, sweep, hose or rake leaves or other yard trimmings into
    the street, gutter or storm drain.
--  For one time use items, only buy what you need, so storage or waste
    will not be a problem.
--  Oil-based paints should be cleaned with paint thinner.  Paint thinner
    can be filtered and reused.  Used thinner can be set aside in a closed jar
    to settle out paint particles and can be stored in a well-ventilated
--  Use non-toxic products for your garden and lawn whenever possible.
--  Use pesticides sparingly -- more is not better.
Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Require Proper Disposal

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Electronic Waste (E-Waste) include any product labeled toxic, reactive, corrosive, or flammable. These include lawn and garden-care products, paint and paint-related products, automotive fluids and batteries, beauty products and medicines, household cleaners and other products such as shoe polish, glue and moth balls. E-waste includes items such as TVs, computer equipment, phones, microwaves and radios.

HHW/E-Waste collection events are held throughout the County on an ongoing basis. These one day drive-through events are free, open to the public, held rain or shine and usually take place on a Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no appointment needed. The City of Los Angeles provides permanent collection sites in several locations.

For a complete list of HHW and E-Waste items, the schedule and location of temporary and permanent collection sites and to find more information on what you can do to help keep our storm drains clean, visit or call 1(888)Clean LA.

About the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works services range from road and flood control system maintenance, construction programs, building and safety services, traffic signals and street signs for the 130 unincorporated communities in the County. As the Principal Permittee for the State's Municipal NPDES Permit System, the County of L.A. Department of Public Works oversees public education and information programs designed to reach the 10 million residents of the County of Los Angeles with crucial messages about protecting the environment. These programs are part of a comprehensive effort to help residents understand the impact they have on the environment and the steps they can take to protect and improve it.

About Orchard Supply Hardware

Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH), headquartered in San Jose, California, is a leading chain of home improvement and garden retail stores with 85 locations throughout California. OSH has a rich heritage, starting as a farmers' cooperative in 1931. For the past 75 years, OSH has been committed to offering its customers legendary service, selection and convenience. For more information, visit the company's website at

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Patricia Condon
    Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
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