Alternatives to Chemical
Around the Yard and Garage
Natural Pest Solutions
Healthy Lawns, Landscapes,
Ask your veterinarian for the
least toxic way to control fleas and ticks on pets.
Some damaging insects can be
eliminated by manual removal or through use of barriers. Planting native
shrubs and flowers can attract beneficial insects that eat pests.
Instead of using mothballs,
try storing items in cedar or metal containers to protect them from moths
There are many natural and less
toxic products to control both indoor and outdoor pests. Check with your
garden store for products such as hot pepper wax and insecticidal soap.
has a list of alternative pesticides.
A healthy lawn and garden
is the best way to combat weeds and pests. Healthy soils contribute to
healthy lawns and plants.
Healthy lawns can often be as
simple as keeping grass height to about 3 inches and leaving at least some
grass clippings on the lawn.
Aerating compacted areas will
allow air and water to get down to grass roots.
Compost is an excellent fertilizer.
Top-dressing lawns, landscape, and gardens with compost will help make
them disease- and drought-resistant.
Before applying synthetic fertilizers,
do a soil test to see what your yard and garden need. Check the Western
Massachusetts Master Gardener Association website at www.wmassmastergardeners.org
for information. If you must use fertilizer, look for a brand that does
not contain herbicides, pesticides, or phosphorus.
Use appropriate landscaping
techniques and plants for your yard to reduce chemical applications. Native
perennial plants make an attractive addition to yards and require less
maintenance and water than grass and non-native shrubbery.
Ask your local garden center
for natural ways to maintain healthy lawns, landscapes, and gardens.
Never pour chemical lawn and
garden products down a drain.
Proper Disposal of Automotive
When washing vehicles consider
using a commercial car wash—water is recycled and oil that is washed off
vehicles is separated and treated.
Try citrus-based solvents for
Building and Remodeling
Never pour gasoline or other
chemicals into used motor oil.
It is illegal to dispose of
motor oil and lead acid batteries in the trash. Used motor oil is a valuable
resource which can be recycled to make new oil products or burned for heat.
If disposed in the garbage,
or dumped on the ground or down a sewer system, used oil, coolant, and
other auto fluids can pollute our drinking water or contaminate lakes,
rivers, or the groundwater. Remember, clean water starts in your home and
yard. Contact the District at (413) 772-2438 about free containers for
used oil and information on proper disposal.
Look for building materials
and supplies that have the least amount of formaldehyde and other volatile
organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are carcinogens and cause other
types of health problems as well, particularly in children. Use water-based,
latex products. Paints and varnishes with low or no VOCs are available.
When carpeting your home, look
for carpet that is made from recycled plastic and meets the indoor air
quality standards established by the Carpet and Rug Institute (www.carpet-rug.com).
Avoid pressure-treated lumber
which contains arsenic. Most home improvement centers carry alternatives
to pressure-treated lumber. Cedar is naturally resistant to fungus and
insects. Recycled plastic lumber works well for decks and playground equipment.
Call the District or visit our website for more information on pressure-treated
Keep all paint products and
construction wastes away from the gutter, street, and storm drains. Dispose
of unwanted oil-based paint, used thinner, and paint residue at a household
hazardous waste collection, never down the drain or in the garbage.
Contact the District for information on collection events.
Franklin County Solid Waste Management
50 Miles Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Tel: (413) 772-2438
MA Relay for the hearing impaired:
711 or 1-800-439-2370 (TTY/TDD)
Fax: (413) 772-3786
Staff email addresses
This website is made possible through
a grant from the
USDA Rural Utilities Service.
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