We use a wide array of chemicals in our gardens (fertilizer, weed killer, pool cleaner, insecticide, rat poison) that contain harmful chemicals and must by disposed of in the correct manner to avoid introducing harmful levels to the environment and water supply.
By law you must not pour hazardous chemicals down the sink or sewage drains or dispose of them in your normal trash collections. They should instead be taken to your local municipal recycling center on one of their hazardous waste collection days so that they can be disposed of in the appropriate manner, depending on the chemicals involved. For more see the hazardous waste collection pages on your county recycling website.
Taking steps to reduce the amount of artificial chemicals you use in your garden will help to protect the environment and reduce the amount of chemical waste you have to dispose of.
Make your own organic plant and lawn feed.
If you stop and think about it you come to realize that plants really want to grow and are adapted to find nutrients and water themselves without the need for chemical fertilizers. Taking simple steps to return and maintain nutrients and water in your garden can be done without any expense to you at all. All you need to do is make use of the waste organic material you already have on your property (food scraps, paper and garden trimmings) through composting, leaf mould preparation and grass cycling techniques.
It really does require more time and effort to go to a store and buy artificial garden fertilisers, soil improvers or lawn feeds than it does to use the resources available in your own garden so why not give it a try.
- Eliminate the use of artificial fertilizer by making your own compost from your food scraps and garden trimmings. See our composting and wormery webpages for more details.
- Prepare your own leaf mould using autumn leaves and use the leaf mould as a garden mulch, reducing the growth of weeds and providing additional nutrients to your soil. In addition, using garden mulch reduces the amount of water lost from the soil through evaporation so you will not need to water your garden as often, saving you further time and expense. For guidelines on how to prepare your own leaf mould go to our leaf mould webpage.
- Using a grass cycling approach when you mow your lawn will help to maintain moisture in the lawn during the summer months and provide organic nutrient feed for the lawn. Go to our grass cycling webpage for more details.
- If composting your own kitchen and garden waste is not your thing, switch to using organic plant feeds instead of artificial chemicals. You can reduce or even eliminate the use of artificial chemicals you use on your garden whilst still providing your plants with the nutrients they need.
- Converted Organics recycles food waste gathered from New Jersey businesses (restaurants and hotels) into organic plant feeds for your lawn or garden plants. Their products are sold at Whole Foods, Home Depot and smaller Gardening stores throughout New Jersey.
- To learn more about their products visit the Converted Organics website.
- Another exciting New Jersey business, called Terracycle, prepares organic plant feeds from vermicompost (compost produced using earth worms) and packages their product in old soda bottles. The compost is made from waste, the container is made from waste and the bottom line is that the product retails at a fraction of the cost of artificial garden fertilizers.
- Go to the Terracycle website to see their fantastic range of organic garden products.
- It is against the law to dispose of hazardous chemicals down the sink or in your general trash. Instead hazardous chemicals that you do not wish to use should be taken to the nearest municipal recycling center on one of their hazardous waste collection days.
- Consult your local county recycling and hazardous waste website for more details.
MUST be taken to the local municipal recycling center for disposal