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Around the Town - April 23, 2010

Earth Day

Protecting our environment is a top priority for Hempstead Town. Residents currently enjoy excellent water quality, and with the continued help of everyone living on Long Island, our waterways and groundwater will remain healthy, clean and plentiful. This year, Earth Day was April 22, and I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of what we can all do to help save our planet.

Storm sewers often transport water directly into the nearest river, lake, stream, wetland or groundwater recharge basin. Only rain should go down the drain. However, storm water often contains pollutants found on streets and parking lots such as oil, pet waste and fertilizer.

Together, we can limit the contamination of local waterways and groundwater by taking the following steps:

Avoid accumulating soil, leaves or grass clippings in your driveway, sidewalk or street. During the next rain, these materials will wash into the nearest storm sewer.

Don’t dump automotive fluids, paints, pesticides or other materials down the storm sewer or sink drain.

Cleaning up after your pet keeps harmful bacteria from entering waterways.

Fixing an oil leak on your vehicle reduces the amount of oil and petroleum products that enter our waterways. One quart of oil can contaminate up to two million gallons of drinking water.

Participate in Hempstead Town’s S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) Program by disposing of your hazardous material in a safe way. S.T.O.P. enables residents to safely dispose of hazardous household wastes at convenient locations throughout the town from April through December. For more information on dates and locations, call the recycling section of the Department of Sanitation at 378-2200.

Dispose of your mercury-based items such as thermometers, thermostats, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs at one of the S.T.O.P. program dates.

Participate in our “E-Cycling” Day if you’re looking to get rid of your unwanted computer, television, DVD players and VCRs. The next E-Cycling event is Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore. For more information, call the Town of Hempstead Department of Sanitation at 378-2200.

By taking part in this town program and properly disposing of your household hazardous wastes, you are protecting our precious drinking water. Keeping our delicate ecosystem clean has benefits that will be enjoyed by future generations.