As a property manager, you may be responsible for a variety of hazardous wastes left behind by tenants or contractors.
Managing your properties also requires managing any dangerous wastes on the premises to avoid potential risks to people and the environment.
CAR WASH WATER
Water entering storm drains goes directly through pipes to local waterways. Dirty car wash water often contains oil, grease, and toxic metals. Soapy water and the chemicals in many detergents are harmful to fish and other aquatic life. Encourage your residents to take their cars to a commercial car wash.
Cleaning supplies and Disinfectants
If you find unused cleaners, detergents or disinfectants:
- Try to find a use for them
- Do not put them down a storm drain or dump them on the ground
- Take them to the Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station
FATS, OILS, GREASE
Fats, oils, and grease from food preparation can build up in sewer pipes and cause costly blockages and sewage overflows. Pour fats, oils, and grease waste into a covered disposable container, such as glass or a sturdy Ziploc bag. Store it in the freezer, and then put it in the trash after it has hardened.
When using fertilizers, make sure excess does not spill onto the sidewalk or street. Rainwater can carry pesticides and fertilizers off lawns and into storm drains, and then into streams or lakes. Even small amounts of fertilizers and pesticides can harm fish.
Use leftover paint for touch-ups, primers or undercoats. If you can't use it, give it to someone who can; some nonprofits may be able to use the paint. Latex paint must be solidified before it is put in the garbage. Oil-based paints, stains, and thinners are usually hazardous waste and should be taken to the Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.
Pressure wash water may contain sediments, chemicals or hazardous waste. When pressure washing, block the storm drain entirely, collect the water, and divert it to a landscaped area for infiltration or send it to a sewer system, with permission from your sewer authority.
Used Motor Oil
Used oil is insoluble and can be laced with toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Avoid letting tenants change their oil in the parking lot. Store used oil in containers clearly marked "Used Oil" and dispose of it at a used oil collection center. Ensure spill clean-up materials are available.
Did you know that even a single drop on your driveway can mean a shorter lifespan for your car? Plus, leaks are the largest polluters of Puget Sound, so it’s also having a huge impact on the health of our local waters. The Don't Drip and Drive Campaign can help you diagnose your leak and even offer a discount to help get it fixed.
Common Household Waste - A Guide for Renters. This document can be downloaded and sent to tenants.