Every time we throw something away it heads for one of four landfills that the City contracts with. The more we throw away, the more landfill space we take up. When a landfill gets full, taxpayers have to build a new one and trash collection rates increase. Nobody wants a landfill near their neighborhood.
The air we breathe in Oklahoma City is exposed to pollution at levels proven to be harmful to our health. Smog is created when vehicular and industrial emissions combine with warm temperatures, calm winds and cloudless days. The fact is that 60 percent of Oklahoma City’s ozone is created by vehicles. Exposure to these pollutants can cause lung disease and other respiratory problems. To receive air quality health advisories from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality visit their website. To check out current levels of ozone or carbon monoxide in Oklahoma City, log on to DEQ’s Web site.
The average Oklahoma City household uses 250 gallons of water per day – that’s enough to fill a brush pumper truck used by the Fire Department. About 58 percent of our treated water is used outside. Conserving water saves you money, reduces wear and tear on the City’s water and wastewater treatment plants and can postpone or eliminate the need to build new reservoirs. About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is water, but only 1 percent is available for human use. That’s why it’s important to practice water conservation year round, not just during times of drought.
Fertilizers, swimming pool chemicals, pesticides and garbage dumped near streams can contaminate Oklahoma City’s rivers and lakes. Did you know that water that flows into your neighborhood storm drains ends up in the North Canadian River, South Canadian River, Deer Creek and Deep Fork basins?
We all want to save a little money here and there. There are a number of ways you can reduce your expenses without much hassle or inconvenience. It can be as easy as using your oven more efficiently, lowering the temperature of your water heater slightly, turning off your lights when you leave a room or leaving your vehicle at home and taking public transportation.