Tag Archives | storm drain

Disposal Of Household Hazardous Waste & Medicine

An article in my local news inspired this article, as I felt such a strong reaction to what I was reading.  Talk about feeling the consequences of your actions!  A person decided to dump litres of latex paint into their storm drain which flowed into a local creek which happens to be a high volume fish-bearing waterway.  What caused me to gasp is my 4 year old was releasing coho fry into this very creek only weeks ago on his first preschool field trip.  Because of this action, about 44,000 fry and eggs narrowly escaped death,  because the quick acting creek’s president shut off the creek intake and switched to the back-up well water.  They won’t know if the thousands of fish will be affected, but it makes you stop and scratch your head.  Even if the storm drain isn’t marked, come on!

So I did some digging on the disposal of hazardous household waste… paints, antifreeze, antibiotics, etc.  The culprit in the above crime (latex paint) is one of the easiest types to dispose of, along with water based paint, as it’s less harmful to simply ‘dry up’ this paint.  If you buy cat litter or sawdust, fill up a paper bag with it, and then pour the remaining paint into the bag.  Wait for the paint to be absorbed and dispose of the bag with your household trash.

You cannot do this for oil-based paints as they post potential environmental and public health risks.  You need to contact your local hazardous materials resource centre for information on proper disposal.  OR you can give away or donate leftover paint to a local theater group or non-profit organization.  Or even more fun, you can also locate a user for your paint through freecycle.org, an online swap shop.  I’ve never heard of this website before, but it’s a nonprofit movement of people who are giving away stuff.  It’s all about reuse and keeping good things out of landfills.  I logged onto this site and found local communities with groups setup, close enough by to drive to and this is a worldwide site!  Very cool find.

Something that is piling up in my cupboard after a bad flu and strep throat season is old antibiotics.  You know that last little bit of medicine that never gets used up?  I’ve been collecting my bottles of old antibiotics in a safe place and when it’s worth the trip for me, I can bring it to my local pharmacy.  My pharmacist told me to take a marker and black out my personal information on the label, then bring them in and they’ll look after proper disposal of what would be a harmful substance to the environment. Continue Reading →

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Kid Friendly Eco Project

My son Angelo loves wild fish and gets so excited when we drive by a sign marking the road of a fish route. For years he yells “fish sign!!” when we drive near a creek or local fish hatchery. So when I saw a blurb on our local Ecology Centre’s web site regarding a project with storm drain marking, my ears perked up.

Why is this important? The yellow fish are there to remind us that storm drains on our roadways empty directly into local streams. Storm Drain Marking is a conservation and education project developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

I had no idea this project was available to the public and I LOVE the idea of my family being able to assist with placing the fish stencils we’ve enjoyed seeing in the community for so long. With the fingerling festivals approaching in our local hatcheries it’s a great marriage of two very kid friendly projects.

The kits and procedure for storm drain marking has recently changed. The kits previously contained a fish stencil with a spray can of yellow paint. Now the kits contain a brush to clean the road, VERY powerful glue to spread in the cleaned area, gloves to handle the glue, and a fish sticker that actually gets glued to the road. There is also a huge mallet that you get to bang the fish so that it sticks to the road forever (smile). In a child’s eyes, what is there not to like about this project? They love glue, stickers, fish, and banging something with a hammer. I love it! Also included are door knob hangers that educate the neighborhood on the importance of caring for neighborhood streams and tips for protecting our fish. What a wonderful, educational project for young children. I have reserved my family’s kit and will post pictures and a description of the project when we complete. Oh yes, the kit comes with reflective vests….this is all just too fun. (Did I mention it’s free of cost??) I’m noticing a theme with ECO kids projects…most don’t involve money and everybody (including mommy and daddies) are learning!

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