Managing Hazardous Waste

We strengthen regulations and streamline waste management

Pollution Prevention is on the Road

Mechanic doing some inspection on car's engineDid you know that when you give your vehicle that little “TLC” like getting it tuned-up or repairing a leak, you are preventing pollution? It’s true!

Driving your car obviously affects local air quality, but it can also impact water quality. Many of your car’s fluids, such as oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid, can contribute significantly to local water pollution if they leak out or are improperly disposed. One quart of used oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water! Here are a few ways to reduce your car’s impact on the environment:

  • Maintain your car. A car that isn’t properly tuned produces 10-15 times more air pollution than a well-running vehicle. Have your car inspected regularly and repair all leaks promptly. Help maintain your car’s optimum fuel efficiency and put gas money back in your pocket by keeping your tires properly inflated.
  • Use a commercial car wash instead of washing your car at home. This helps avoid sending untreated wash water (contaminated with your car’s grease and grime) into local waterways. If you do wash your car at home, be sure to wash it on an unpaved, flat plot of land so that the dirty wash water does not flow directly into nearby storm drains.
  • Drive less. Combine your errands into one trip. If you need to buy something and do not know where to go, “let your fingers do the driving” by calling stores ahead of time instead of driving from store to store. Use other means to get from one place to another: bike to a friend’s house, take public transit to the store, or carpool to work.

Do your part to prevent pollution, especially this week, National Pollution Prevention Week, because together – we can prevent pollution!

The third full week in September is National Pollution Prevention Week. Every year, local governments, state and federal agencies, businesses and others team up to hold events that celebrate and promote the benefits of P2. The goal of this nationwide effort is to increase awareness of the many opportunities to prevent pollution. Individuals can also get involved by adopting P2 practices during P2 week as well as year round. We hope you enjoyed these Pollution Prevention tips during National Pollution Prevention Week.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control would like to thank and acknowledge Kate Slama of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Watershed Protection Unit for providing the information for National P2 Week.