“Clean” Spring Cleaning – What to do with Hazardous Materials

Believe it or not, warmer weather and green grass are almost here and we all know what that means – it’s time for spring-cleaning! Whether it is washing floors, tuning up your car, or painting walls, many of us embrace the coming of spring with a bounty of cleaning and household products.  But what happens to those products once spring-cleaning is over? That decision is up to you, and we at PCS hope you choose to properly dispose of these products so that they do not end up in our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Many of today’s cleaning and household products are considered hazardous and should be disposed of properly, not simply thrown in the garbage can, dumpster, or down the storm drain.  Some examples of these products include drain cleaners, mildew removers, oil-based paints, varnishes and refinishers, motor oil, transmission fluid, fertilizers, and pesticides. Below are tips for using and disposing of hazardous products during, and after, your spring-cleaning. 

  • Don’t over apply the hazardous products; only use the recommended amount for your given task. 
  • Use a broom or mop, not a hose, to clean up spills – washing these products down to the nearest storm drain will send them untreated into our waterways. 
  • Do not pour anything down the storm drain, or into a ditch. These lead straight to streams, rivers and lakes, which are also our source of drinking water. 
  • Repair any automotive leaks immediately, and use a drip pan underneath the leak if repair is delayed. 
  • Contact your local waste management group, Lucas (419-213-2230) or Wood (419-354-9297) Counties, for more information on the proper disposal of hazardous products such as lighter fluid, paint, swimming pool chemicals, toilet bowl cleaner, nail polish and remover, super glue, and pesticides.  

In addition, if you are a City of Toledo resident, Republic Services offers to take away unwanted bulk items such as furniture, mattresses, tires, construction materials, and yard waste for free. This eliminates the chance for those bulk items to end up in our waterways.  If interested, call Republic Services at (419) 936-2511 at least two days prior to your regularly scheduled pick-up and put bulk items on curb beside your trash and recycling bins. A separate truck will come to pick-up the bulk items.

Other municipalities have similar programs. Check with your local city department. Let’s commit to clean this spring in a responsible manner that will not jeopardize the health of our streams, lakes, and rivers. Remember, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t dump it!