Many toxic substances have the potential of contaminating surface water and/or groundwater if not handled properly. It is important to minimize use of toxic substances and properly dispose of hazardous waste in order to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants to rivers, streams, wetlands or lakes. Pollutants from hazardous waste are often picked up by stormwater runoff and flow to local waterways where degradation occurs, affecting water quality and killing aquatic organisms.
The following substances need to be disposed of properly by homeowners via local disposal programs: gasoline, oil, solvents, oil-based paints, thinners, fertilizers, pesticides, cleaners, pharmaceuticals and many other products. The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) sponsors regular household hazardous waste collections ad provides other important recycling information.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides hazardous waste disposal Best Management Practices (BMPs) for construction sites materials. Some basic guidelines include (1) waste should not be mixed; (2) drums should not be overfilled; (3) dry waste should be stored on pallets in order to reduce spillage and soil and surface water contamination. It is also important to educate employees and subcontractors on proper handling and disposal in addition to the potential health and environmental dangers.
To Report Illegal Dumping
Lake County Health Department's Solid Waste Unit, 847.377.8016 or 847.377.8013.
Illinois EPA Hotline,
“Hazardous Waste Management,” California Stormwater BMP Handbook, 2003, www.cabmphandbooks.com
Markham, L. and K. Demorest, “Protecting Your Waterfront Investment: 10 Simple Shoreland Stewardship Practices,” Center for Land Use Education, UW-Extension, http://clean-water.uwex.edu/
USEPA NPDES Phase II Program Links: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6