Yard Waste

stormdrainYard waste consists of leaves, grass, branches, fertilizers and anything else from your yard that can be washed into the street and go down a storm drain.

The organic items decompose in water, removing oxygen needed for aquatic life.

Yard waste can also clog the storm water system, contributing to street flooding. The litter often ends up floating in the river, where it endangers the wildlife.

Household Hazardous Waste

Did you know?

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reactive ingredients are considered “household hazardous waste” (HHW).

Products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially dangerous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.

Do not get rid of these types of materials by:

  • Pouring them down the drain
  • Pouring them on the ground
  • Pouring them into storm sewers
  • Or in some cases, putting them out with the trash.

Wondering What’s HHW and What’s Not?

For more information on which wastes at home are hazardous refer to this list of common household products with potentially hazardous ingredients.


  • Air conditioners
  • Microwave ovens
  • Refrigerators & freezers

Automotive and marine/boat products

  • waste-oilAntifreeze
  • Automobile batteries
  • Brake fluid
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Engine degreaser
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flares
  • Gasoline
  • Transmission fluid
  • Used motor oil


  • Household batteries


  • Computers
  • Televisions

Empty tanks and containers

  • Butane and propane tanks
  • Commercial gas cylinders
  • Diving tanks
  • Empty containers
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Helium tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Underground storage tanks

Glues and cements

  • Contact cement
  • Epoxy
  • General purpose glue
  • Instant glues
  • Model cement
  • Rubber cement
  • Rubber cement thinner

Hobby chemicals

  • paint-tubeArtist’s paints
  • Chemistry sets
  • Photographic materials

Household cleaners

  • plastic_bottlesAll-purpose cleaners
  • Ammonia
  • Antibacterial products and disinfectants
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Drain opener
  • Furniture polish
  • Metal cleaners
  • Oven cleaner
  • Rust remover
  • Spot and stain remover
  • Toilet bowl cleaner

Indoor pesticides

  • Ant/roach killer
  • Flea killers: sprays, foggers, powders
  • Flying insect killer
  • Lice shampoo
  • Mothballs
  • Rat poison

Miscellaneous household goods

  • Asbestos
  • Cooking oil
  • Empty containers
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke detectors
  • Treated wood

Outdoor pesticides

  • Garden fungicides
  • Lawn, garden, or house plant insect killer
  • Slug poison
  • Weed killers, weed and feed products
  • Wood preservatives

Paint and solvents

  • paintEmpty containers
  • Latex paint
  • Lead-based paint
  • Oil-based paint
  • Other solvents
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint thinner
  • Spray paint
  • Varnish/lacquer

Personal products

  • Hair color
  • Hairspray
  • Medicines
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover

Products with mercury

  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Jewelry
  • Mercury fever thermometers
  • Mercury-containing thermostats

Use and store products containing hazardous substances carefully to prevent any accidents at home. Never store hazardous products in food containers; keep them in their original containers and never remove labels. Corroding containers, however, require special handling.


  • Remember to follow any instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels.
  • Keep products in original containers.
  • Buy only the amount of a product that you need.
  • Share unused products with friends, neighbors, or local groups.
  • Never burn or bury hazardous waste; this can cause water and air pollution.
  • Never pour hazardous waste down street drains or storm sewers, or dump along roadside.
  • Do not use hazardous waste containers for food.

Change your habits

Consider buying products that do contain or have less hazardous ingredients, for example:

  • Aerosols – Use pump-type or non-aerosol products.
  • Art supplies – Use water-based paints or inks.
  • Batteries – Rechargeable batteries are a better deal than disposable batteries.
  • Chemical fertilizers – Composting yard clippings and food scraps is an option.  Manure (in measured amounts) is another alternative.
  • Gasoline – Purchasing a super-efficient hybrid or electric vehicle is a good choice.  Also, when you can, carpool, walk, bicycle or use public transportation.
  • Motor Oil – Use refined motor oil.
  • Pesticides – Keep homes and gardens neat. Ongoing: garlic and marigold plants keep pests at bay.

Pet Waste

Did you know that 80,000 registered dogs reside in Albuquerque? These dogs create 20 tons of waste per day! If not handled properly, pet waste can spread diseases between pets, and infect children and adults with disease-causing bacteria and parasites. Pets and children who play in yards or in parks where pets defecate are most at risk for infection from disease-causing bacteria and parasites found in pet waste.

Diseases that can be passed from pet waste to humans:

  • Campylobacteriosis – a bacterial infection carried by dogs and cats that frequently causes diarrhea in humans.
  • Salmonellosis – the most common bacterial infection transmitted to humans by other animals. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Toxocariasis – roundworms usually transmitted from dogs to humans, often without noticeable symptoms, but they may cause vision loss, a rash, fever, or cough.
  • Toxoplasmosis – a parasite carried by cats that can cause birth defects if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy. Can also be a problem for people with depressed immune systems.

Pet waste can also pollute our river water. Left on the ground, it may wash into storm drains and end up in the Rio Grande.

Scoop the PoopGet rid of pet waste the right way!

  • When walking with your pet, take a plastic bag or paper cup along and dispose of the waste properly.
  • Flush it down the toilet.
  • Put it in the household trash after securely wrapping it. (Don’t use a yard waste container.)
  • Be aware of the Animal Control Ordinance that governs pet waste clean up – “…waste left by a dog on any property other than the owner’s must be cleaned up by the pet owner. If the law is violated, you could be subject to prosecution.”

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