It’s All About the Fine Print
Many common products, like paints, pesticides and personal care products, contain phosphorus and nitrogen. While everyone needs to use these types of products, you can educate yourself about what ingredients are included. Look for “phosphates” or other variations in the ingredient list. When handling these products, try to reduce the amount you use each time, and don’t dispose of any excess product down the drain.
Paints: try to use up or save latex or acrylic paint; if you need to dispose of them, solidify the paint with kitty litter before throwing in the trash. Don’t pour down the drain!
Pesticides: this is another product that is best to only buy as much as you need and to use entirely as directed on the label. If you have extra, check with your neighbor to see if you can share. If not, you will need to find a hazardous materials collection event or location to dispose of them. You should also bring your unwanted oil-based paint to a hazardous waste collection. Call 864-241-1090 to contact Greenville County DHEC about household hazardous chemical recycling.
Personal products: personal cleaners, like soaps and shampoos, can also have phosphorus in them, but it can be hard to find phosphorus-free products. So the same rule applies: don’t use more than you need and don’t pour extra down the drain.