Home Improvement

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Paints, solvents, adhesives, debris and toxic materials from home repair and remodeling are often swept, blown or washed into the Orange County storm drain system and go untreated into channels, creeks, bays and oceans. By following a few simple steps, you can prevent pollution.


  • Don’t clean brushes or containers in the street or gutter! Water-based paints can be rinsed in the sink, but anything else should be taken to a hazardous waste site.
  • Paint stripping residue, chips and dust from marine paints and paints containing lead or tributyl tin are hazardous wastes. Sweep them up and take them in a sealed container to a household hazardous waste collection site.

Construction and remodeling:

Be sure to check with the Building Division before starting any construction or remodeling work.  There may be other recycling requirements related to your project.

  • Schedule grading and excavation projects for dry weather.
  • Keep all construction debris away from the street, gutter and storm drains. Never dispose of cement washout or concrete dust into driveways, streets, gutters or storm drains.
  • Prevent erosion and sediment runoff by covering excavated material and piles of asphalt, sand and similar materials with plastic tarp.
  • Recycle broken asphalt, concrete, wood and cleared vegetation. Non-recyclables should be disposed of as a hazardous waste.

Home Improvement Learning Materials

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