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Home Improvements
  • Pining for your next home improvement project?  Taking measures to properly dispose of materials used during your home repair and improvement projects will keep toxins out of our waterways. 

  • If not properly disposed of, paints, solvents, adhesives, dusts, sediments, and household toxics commonly associated with home repair and remodeling activities can make their way into the local storm drain system and travel untreated into local waterways. 


Photo courtesy Burlington Free Press.

Dispose of construction and home improvement materials properly.

When performing home improvements, follow these simple steps to minimize the impacts on water quality:

  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Avoid cleaning brushes and rinsing paint containers in a street, gutter, or storm drain. For water-based paints, brush out as much paint as possible and rinse in the sink. For oil-based paints, brush out as much paint as possible and then clean with thinner. Reuse paint thinner by setting used thinner aside in a closed, labeled jar to settle out paint particles, and then pouring off the clear liquid for future use.

  • Keep all construction debris and landscaping material away from the street. Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris. Cover excavated material and stockpiles of asphalt, sand, etc. with plastic tarps to reduce the potential of leakage in a rainstorm.

  • Protect areas of bare soil. Bank and berm around home construction projects to prevent erosion and sediment from clogging streams and stormwater catch basins. Stay informed of best management practices to ensure that exposed dirt isn’t washed offsite. Phosphorus binds to soil particles and can pollute waterways.​

  • Reuse building materials in good condition. Private businesses or neighbors in your community may be interested in leftover building materials in good condition.

Did you know?
Did you know?

You can...

recycle/reuse leftover paint by using it for touch-ups, or by giving it to someone who can use it such as a theatre group, school, city or other community organization. If you’re unable to give it away, contact Northwest VT Solid Waste Management District at (802) 524-5986 for information on hazardous waste pick-up.

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