Reduce Runoff


They say that April showers bring May flowers. But here in Alabama with our long hot summer days, those showers sometimes aren’t quite enough to keep our landscapes looking healthy and vibrant. Careful watering can keep your investment in turf, trees and landscape plantings healthy and beautiful. Watering early in the morning when it is coolest and least windy reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation. Make sure irrigation and sprinklers are not directed to impervious areas such as driveways and sidewalks, which will just waste water and cost you more money.

When it comes to reducing runoff, the same rules that apply to stormwater also apply to water from sprinkler systems and hoses: slow it down, spread it out, and allow it to soak into your yard. The more opportunity soil has to absorb the water and plants to uptake the moisture, the less opportunity water will have to leave your property and create polluted runoff.

The Allure of More

Let’s face it – we all want to have the latest smart phone, tablet, laptop, game system and flat screen TV. But our desire to be the first to own the latest greatest little gadget has resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste, or e-waste. The United States leads the world in producing e-waste, discarding about 6 billion pounds of it each year.

Besides taking up a lot of space in landfills, e-waste contains dangerous chemicals and heavy metals which can pollute water and land. In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills come from discarded electronics. These heavy metals, which include lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic, can leach from landfills into the water table and pollute groundwater. Groundwater feeds springs and streams, which in turn flow into rivers and lakes.

E-waste also contains as many as 60 elements, including valuable gold and platinum. These elements are not renewable, and recycling electronic devices provides opportunities for these materials to be recovered and reused, thereby conserving precious resources.

So what should you do with unwanted electronics? If the electronic device is still usable, donating it to a charitable organization is a good option. However, if the electronic device is broken or otherwise not usable, take it to a business or recycling center that will properly dispose of it. Calling Recycle Alabama at 252-7581 or visiting is a great way to learn what to do with most things recyclable.

Mark Your Calendar!

May 9

Don’t doom your old electronics to a landfill! Bring them to the FREE Birmingham Electronics Recycling Day from 8 – 12 at LinnPark, Short 20th Street, in Birmingham. For more information, contact the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission at 787-5222.

May 11

Build your own rain barrel and start collecting rain water to use for yard irrigation. Call the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at 205.879.6964 Ext. 11 to register.

May 17, 18

Come on out and strut your pet’s stuff while supporting local animal charities at Do Dah Day in Rhodes and CaldwellParks, Birmingham. Visit to learn more.


Lyn DiClemente
Jefferson County Department of Storm Water Management
B-210 Jefferson County Courthouse Annex
716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL  35203

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