Pesticides Hazardous Waste Illegal in Garbage or Drains Find out what to do with hazardous waste Never Pour Down the Drain Pesticides should never be poured down the drain because they contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate waterways. Instead, dispose of them as Household Hazardous Waste. Don't Water the Grass After Absolutely do not water the grass after applying garden chemicals. This runoff ends up in water drains that can contaminate lakes and rivers. It also makes your pesticides less effective against pests. Don't Use if It's Going to Rain Avoid using chemicals before a storm; if you do, they will be washed down storm drains, or leach into the soil, once it starts raining. Rinse Empty Concentrate Containers Containers that held concentrate need to be rinsed out three times before they are thrown in the trash: to do this, add remaining spray to the tank. Next, add water into the container, swirl and then transfer to the spray tank. Finally, repeat these steps twice. Ready-to-Use Containers Empty containers that held ready-to-use chemicals can be thrown in the trash without rinsing them out. Ways to Reduce Use Up Completely The best way to dispose of pesticides is to use them up completely, which reduces how much can leach into the environment. If you’re not going to use them up completely, try giving them to a friend. Avoid Purchasing Concentrate Consider purchasing ready-to-use products. Purchasing concentrations to dilute on your own can expose the body to harmful chemicals. Also the use of under-diluted chemicals is more damaging to the air, water and soil. Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com Use Bait Stations or Insecticidal Soaps Identify your pest problem and use the least toxic option to eliminate those pests (if you must use garden chemicals). Consider using bait stations or insecticidal soaps and oils. Find out more. Did You Know? How Your Furniture May Be Harming California Condors A recent study found that populations of the endangered California Condor have elevated levels of toxic contaminants like mercury and PBDEs, a flame retardant. PBDEs leech into the environment through close contact with or improper disposal of the items that contain them, such as stuffed and upholstered furniture. These chemicals have also been shown to have negative health effects on people.