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What can you do to reduce toxics in Oregon’s water?
Wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove conventional pollutants such as oxygen-robbing materials, suspended sediments, and provide disinfection. The treatment plant process can remove some—but not all—persistent pollutants. Pollution prevention is the best way to reduce toxics from reaching Oregon’s rivers and streams. You can take action to reduce toxics in Oregon’s rivers and streams by:

Buying and using environmentally safe cleaners and soaps. Look for any product that is certified by:

–  EPA Design for the Environment Program
–  Good Guide—Available as a mobile app
–  Any cleaners manufactured by Coastwide Laboratories
–  Eco-Logo

Each of these programs screen soaps and cleaners for any Oregon Priority Persistent Pollutants to ensure they are safe to use.

Reduce the use of pesticides including herbicides on your lawn and garden
Properly recycle unwanted computers, monitors and television sets for free through Oregon’s E-Cycle program.
Take unwanted chemicals including pesticides, lawn care chemicals, and solvents to local household hazardous waste collection events. See a schedule of DEQ events. Your County or garbage hauler can let you know when additional events are scheduled.
Choose auto repair businesses that are certified to be using environmentally-friendly practices. See an inventory of certified auto repair shops.
If you hire a service to provide landscaping services at your home or business and are in the Portland/Metropolitan area, hire a service that has been certified as environmentally-friendly. See an inventory of certified landscape services providers.
Recycle old paints through the Oregon PaintCare program. See paint collection locations.
Properly recycle rechargeable batteries and unwanted cell phones. See battery and cell phone collection locations.
Buy electronic devices designed with the environment in mind. Check the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) inventory to select a computer, monitor, or laptop that meets environmental standards.

industrial waterfront photo

Actions by many Oregonians will help protect and enhance the Willamette River.

 


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