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Education - Environmental Tips

Dos and Don'ts | Small Business | Household

Dos and Don’ts




Draining your swimming pool

  • Drain your pool into a sanitary sewer drain (use sewer clean-out) or keep the water contained on your property
  • Drain your pool onto the street or alley. (This is a City Code violation)

Draining your carpet
cleaning solution

  • Drain the used solution in your bathtub
  • Request that the professional carpet cleaner dispose of the used solution in the sanitary sewer.
  • Drain the used solution onto the street or curb/gutter. (This is a City Code violation)

Washing your vehicle or boat

  • Use water, but try not to use any detergent.
  • If you need to use a detergent, go to a commercial car wash.
  • Use a detergent when washing your vehicle or boat at home. (This introduces toxins into the environment)
  • Wash a car or boat on a public street. (This is a City Code violation)

Cleaning your driveway,
sidewalk or carport

  • Use a dry cleanup method, e.g., absorbents for oil/gas drippings. Use a broom and dust pan, then dispose in trash bin. 
  • Use a degreaser. Use water to wash/hose down. (This introduces toxins into the environment)

Changing your oil or antifreeze

  • Collect all drained fluids in a container that can be capped (e.g., an empty plastic milk jug). Keep oil separated from antifreeze.
  • Take used oil and antifreeze to a household hazardous waste event or to an auto parts store that accepts such wastes for safe recycling or disposal
  • Have your vehicle serviced by a commercial operation.
  • Repair leaks as soon as possible.
  • Let fluids drain or dispose of fluids on the ground.
  • (This is a City Code violation)
  • Mix used oil with antifreeze, gasoline, diesel, brake fluid, etc. (This makes recycling of those wastes impractical)
  • Wash out the radiator with water and let it drain on the ground. (This is a City Code violation)

Using fertilizers

  • Follow product use, storage and disposal instructions.
  • Apply only recommended amounts.
  • Store fertilizers indoors, under a roof
  • Use slow-release, natural fertilizers
  • Apply fertilizer before a storm. (This increases the chance for toxins to enter the environment)
  • Overuse fertilizers (This increases the amount of toxins that can enter the environment)
  • Store fertilizers outdoors, exposed to the sun and rain (This increases the chance for toxins to enter the environment)
  • Pour fertilizer solution down the drain, any drain. (This is a City Code violation)

Using herbicides and pesticides

  • Use low toxic herbicides and pesticides.
  • Follow product use, storage and disposal instructions. Apply recommended amounts.
  • Store herbicides and pesticides indoors, under a roof.
  • Mix small amounts of solution. Prepare only what you will immediately use, so you do not have left over solution
  • Apply herbicides and pesticides before a storm (This increases the chance for toxins to enter the environment)
  • Overuse herbicides and pesticides (This increases the amount of toxins that can enter the environment)
  • Store herbicides and pesticides outdoors, exposed to the sun and rain (This increases the chance for toxins to enter the environment)
  • Pour a herbicide or pesticide solution down the drain, any drain. (This is a City Code violation)

When you see a
person disposing of drum
of a chemical on the ground
or abandoning a drum on
the street, park or riverbed

  • Call the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at (602) 207-2330 (emergency response hotline) or (602) 207-4153 (non-emergency response)You may also call the Glendale Code Compliance Division (623) 930-3610 or the Environmental Resources Department (623) 930-2580.
  • Ignore the problem, hoping someone else will report the incident. (Dumping or abandoning chemicals is a violation of federal, state and local laws).

Small Business Environmental Tips

This is not a complete list. The tips provided by the city are not intended to be legal or technical advice. To be certain, you should seek the legal and technical advice from your own qualified environmental professionals.

  1. Require or perform environmental reviews when buying, selling or leasing property. The federal Superfund law places environmental responsibility (clean up cost of contaminated property) on current and past owners and businesses that utilized the site. In order to reduce your liability, environmental site assessments, beginning with a Phase I assessment are recommended.

  2. Determine your Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) planning and reporting requirements. Facilities that store, use or dispose of significant amounts of chemicals may be subject to EPCRA requirements. EPCRA specifies requirements for: 1) emergency notification (in case of a chemical release to the environment); 2) community right-to-know reporting; 3) toxic chemical release inventory reporting; and 4) emergency planning.

  3. Determine whether you need air quality permits. Certain facilities, equipment and operations require air quality permits. Maricopa County issues air quality permits.

  4. If you have an underground storage tank you need to determine whether you comply with tank design and maintenance requirements. All underground storage tanks must be corrosion resistant, equipped with leak detection equipment and overfill protection measures by December 22, 1998. The product in the tanks (fuel) needs to be inventoried and reported to the State on a regular basis (Department of Weights and Measures). Tanks smaller than 110 gallons are not considered to be an underground storage tank. Tanks that are contained in an underground vault are not regarded as an underground storage tank. Tanks that are suspected of having leaks should be reported to the State (Department of Environmental Quality).

  5. Determine your hazardous waste generator status. Your business is classified as a large quantity generator, small quantity generator or a conditionally exempt small quality generator. Large quantity and small quantity generators are required to obtain an identification number from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Conditionally exempt small quantity generators are those facilities that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste and less than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste a month. While conditionally exempt small quantity generators are subject to less stringent requirements, such facilities still need to properly dispose of hazardous wastes (do not dispose of your hazardous wastes in your regular trash). Annual reports of hazardous wastes disposal need to be submitted to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

  6. Determine whether you transport hazardous waste. There are restrictions on transporting hazardous waste off-site. In general, you should not transport hazardous wastes for disposal unless your facility is permitted as a Transporter. In disposing of hazardous wastes its best to arrange for your hazardous wastes to be picked up by a company that is permitted as a Transporter. You may be allowed to transport small quantities of hazardous substances/wastes under certain conditions.

  7. Develop a facility emergency contingency plan. Your facility may need to have an emergency plan. Facility emergency contingency plans are required of certain facilities by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

  8. Determine whether you need a storm water permit and a storm water pollution prevention plan. Certain types of facilities and activities will require a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm water permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All facilities and activities requiring a storm water permit need to prepare a Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan. The plan must describe the controls and best management practices that the facility will implement to minimize storm water pollution. Certain activities that do not require a federal storm water permit may still be subject to local (City) Storm water regulations. The City of Glendale's Engineering Department is responsible for implementing the City’s storm water program.

  9. Determine whether you need a City industrial pretreatment permit. The Clean Water Act specifies the category of industries that must comply with pretreatment standards. The requirement is designed protect the sewer system from fire or explosive hazards, corrosive discharges, physical obstructions and heat sufficient to affect biological processes. The City of Glendale’s Pretreatment Division is responsible for implementing the City’s pretreatment program.

Household Tips

These tips will help you handle chemicals safely around the house.

  • Read product labels to determine toxicity and applicable use. Be a wise consumer when purchasing household chemicals. Labels containing words as "Danger" or "Poison" indicate a highly toxic product. Labels with the word "Warning" indicate a moderately toxic product. In order to minimize exposure to chemicals try to use less toxic chemical products and always follow the manufacturer’s advice on safety precautions and chemical usage.

  • Use all of the product instead of storing for a future use. Purchase chemicals in container sizes that meet your need. If you need to store a chemical product, store it in its original container (e.g., storing paint in the original paint can) or in a container that is designed to store the product (e.g., storing gasoline in a gas can). When mixing chemicals (e.g., pesticides and paints) for a use at your house, mix what you need and use what you mix. Unused mixed chemicals may be considered a hazardous waste when you decide to dispose of the mixture.

  • Store chemicals, especially pesticides in a safe and secure place, away from people or pets.

  • Used oil should be recycled. In many cases, you can bring your used motor oil to the auto parts store/service center in which you purchased the new oil. Check with the store to determine whether they will accept your used motor oil for recycling. Do not mix the used oil with gasoline or antifreeze because the mixture cannot be recycled.

  • Do not mix chemical products unless instructed to do so by the product manufacturer. Certain mixtures may be dangerous. These include mixing oil with chlorine (fire hazard) or bleach with ammonia (dangerous gas).

  • Utilize household hazardous waste events to dispose of household chemicals. The City of Glendale conducts a household hazardous waste event one-day a year, usually in March. The event is advertised in local newspapers, on Glendale 11 TV, and in the Glendale Connection which is distributed every other month with utility bills. Residents can also contact Glendale’s Sanitation Department at (623) 930-2660 for more information about waste disposal. Glendale’s Fire Department can be contacted at (623) 930-3408 for information about bulk or hazardous chemical storage. Residents can bring household hazardous wastes for disposal at a City facility. There is no charge to dispose of the hazardous wastes. Maricopa County also sponsors a household hazardous waste day once a year.

  • Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint. Latex paint is more environmentally friendly and easier to work with than oil-based paint.

  • Be careful what you pour down the drain, sink or toilet. To be safe, it is best not to dispose of chemical products through the drain, sink or toilet. If your home is on a sewer system you may dispose of certain chemical products followed by lots of water. These include: aluminum cleaners, ammonia-based cleaners, drain cleaners, alcohol-based lotions, bathroom cleaners, depilatories, hair relaxers, toilet bowl cleaners, tub and tile cleaners,  and water-based glues. Do not dispose of medication, pesticides, automobile fluids e.g., gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze), paints, and solvents down the drain. If you have a septic system do not dispose of any type of household chemicals down the drain, as it could damage your septic system.

If you have questions about whether you can safely dispose of some chemical by pouring it down the drain, contact John Watkins, Pretreatment Officer, at (623) 930-4758.

Did You Know...

  • Commonly used household chemicals are potentially harmful to the environment. Paints, pesticides, fertilizers, polishes, cleaners, pool chemicals, and automobile fluids are all potential pollutants that need to be used and disposed of properly.

  • Outdoor use/disposal of detergents are a major cause of pollution. Detergents for outdoor uses, such as those used for washing cars, boats, sidewalks, carports and driveways are often toxic to plants and animals. Detergents designed for indoor use, such as for dishes, clothes, upholstery, carpet, tile, wood floors and walls are also potentially toxic to plants and animals if disposed of outdoors.

  • Little drips can add up to a big environmental problem. Seemingly minor drips of fluids (such as oil, gasoline, diesel and antifreeze) from your vehicle can add up to tons of pollution per year when you consider your vehicle is not the only one dripping. Just a little pollution, such as a quart of used motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Animals, including your pets can die if they drink antifreeze that is left on the pavement or that contaminates a puddle of water. Cats, dogs and birds will drink antifreeze because of its sweet flavor.

  • Disposing of certain household chemicals in your sink is often better than pouring it into a storm drain or onto the ground. However, before you do check the label of the container. The label should provide instructions as to the proper disposal of the chemical product in question. It is illegal to dispose of certain chemical products (those classified as a hazardous waste) in a sink, storm drain or onto the ground. These chemical products come in containers that are usually labeled ‘warning’, ‘poison’ or ‘dangerous.’

  • It is illegal to dump anything into the storm drains. Storm drains are for storm water only. It is important to remember that chemicals, including household chemicals dumped into a storm drain are directly introduced into the environment and are often toxic to plant and animal life.




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