photo of litter contamination heading down a storm drain

How Can I Help Reduce Stormwater Pollution?

Doing your part to keep our stormwater clean is easier than you might think. Stormwater pollution comes from numerous sources, but many can be reduced or eliminated through small actions taken around your home, yard and business.

Making small changes such as using organic pesticides and fertilizers, keeping your vehicle clean and maintained, picking up after your pet, ensuring trash is properly disposed of, securing items in your truck-bed can truly reduce stormwater pollution where you live.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:


Properly Dispose Of Trash And Litter

Dispose trash and recycling items in a waste or recycling receptacle. If it’s left lying around, it can blow away or fall to the ground and end up in stormwater. Common trash and litter pollutants include:

  • Food wrappers or packaging
  • Plastic containers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Single-use items
  • Face masks or gloves


Clean Out Your Vehicle And Truck Beds

Trash, recyclables and other debris can fall out of an open window or truck bed. Keep a small litter bag in your car, and put items in the garbage can when you get home or visit a gas station. These are some of the common items that can fly out of a vehicle in motion:

  • Food wrappers or packaging
  • Empty beverage containers
  • Plastic containers
  • Recreational items
  • Landscape waste


Secure Your Load

Make sure items in your truck bed are secured with tarps and tie-downs or a cargo net. Tools, furniture, and food packaging shouldn’t be able to fly onto the freeway. Be sure to double check that everything is secure before you hit the road. These are common items that fall from truck beds:

  • Luggage
  • Recreational items
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Landscape waste


Dispose of Large Trash Properly

Large appliances or furniture should be taken to an authorized disposal site. The same goes for large amount of vegetation waste. Check with your town or city to learn if they have curbside pick-up days for large items. Following are examples of items that are often illegally dumped:

  • Appliances
  • Cars & parts
  • Construction tools
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Vegetation piles

If you’re interested in being part of the solution on a larger scale and getting more involved, consider joining a local clean up event! Learn about some of the clean-up programs going on now.