Personal Pollution



Personal Pollution

What You Can Do to Prevent Runoff Pollution

There are many actions you can take to help prevent runoff and other types of pollution. When working around your home or yard, make sure you dispose of products properly, keep items out of storm drains, pick up after your pets, keep yard waste out of the street, and eliminate or minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Check out the City of Tallahassee's Think About Personal Pollution program to learn how you can keep our water clean.  

Citizens and businesses can help prevent personal pollution at work as well as at home. Restaurants, food service concessions and commercial businesses can add to pollution impacts unintentionally by allowing food particles, oil, grease, trash or cleaning products to flow into gutters and streets that lead into storm drains. To prevent this from happening, individuals and businesses are encouraged to:

  • Pick up litter and use trash cans to dispose of regular waste;
  • Dispose of all waste oil, grease, or wastewater containing oil and grease in a grease trap or interceptor;
  • Clean equipment in a mop sink or dedicated indoor cleaning area that drains to the sanitary sewer;
  • Clean floor mats, grease filters, grills and garbage cans in a wash area that drains to sanitary sewer;
  • Dispose of all mop water from cleaning floors in a mop sink, toilet or other drain associated with sanitary sewer and never pour wash water outside where it can flow to a storm drain;
  • Use rags or absorbents such as cat litter to clean up spilled liquids and grease and then sweep up the absorbent(s) and dispose in a sealed plastic bag in the garbage dumpster;
  • Dry, sweep, mop or vacuum outdoor areas instead of washing down with a hose;
  • Properly store chemicals inside;
  • Have spill cleanup materials easily accessible near dumpsters or loading docks and use dry cleanup methods for spills;
  • Make sure dumpster lids are shut and drains are plugged to keep rain out and trash in;
  • Put leaking containers of trash inside a non-leaking container or bag before placing in the dumpster;
  • Replace dirty or broken dumpsters by contacting your service provider instead of hosing it out and lock dumpsters to prevent illegal dumping; and
  • Properly dispose of construction site runoff.


The decomposition times of common marine debris - infographic


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