Home » Programs » Environmentally Friendly Landscaping, Gardening and Pest Control » Best Management Practices for Using Pesticides and Fertilizers

Designing and planting a landscape that minimizes the need for fertilizers and pesticides can go a long way in creating a beautiful and productive garden.  However, if chemical fertilizers and pesticides must be used, follow these best management practices to protect human health and the environment: 

Safe Pesticide and Fertilizer Use

  • Always read the label and use and store pesticides and fertilizers only as directed; 
  • Choose controlled or slow-release fertilizers that release nutrients gradually into the soil to minimize leaching and increase effectiveness;
  • Check the forecast and never apply pesticides or fertilizers if rain is predicted;
  • Do not over-apply pesticides or fertilizers. Use spot treatment where needed, and avoid applying the chemical throughout your garden or lawn;
  • If liquid fertilizer or pesticide is spilled, place an absorbent material such as cat litter onto the spill and then use a dry method (such as sweeping) to collect and dispose of the material in the trash;

Safe Pesticide and Fertilizer Disposal

  • Dispose of empty pesticide and fertilizer containers in the trash or recycling bin;
  • Rinse empty liquid pesticide or fertilizer containers and re-use rinse water as you would use the product. Do not allow rinse water to runoff your property into storm drains;
  • Take unused or partially used pesticide and fertilizer containers to a County of Los Angeles S.A.F.E. Collection Center (nearby locations are listed below) to be recycled. In addition, many local municipalities provide annual Household Hazardous Waste drop off events.  Check the South Bay Environmental Services Center Events Page for more information on local events.
    • Hyperion Water ReclamationPlant – 660 West Imperial Highway (Gate B) Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
    • Harbor Area (San Pedro) – 1400 North Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731