Handle with Care

Recent studies of Minnesota’s waters show that a wide variety of chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, insecticides, fertilizers, and those found in personal care products are ending up in lakes and rivers. Many of these substances have properties that can interfere with the functioning of hormones in animals and people. Some mimic the effects of hormones in animals and negatively impact growth and development.

Contaminants of emerging concern toolkit

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, along with a group of stakeholders, developed a toolkit to help educate families, farmers, contractors, and caregivers about safely handling and disposing of medications, pesticides, and mercury.

The toolkit includes customizable print ads, handouts, billboards, postcards, and videos.

RX Postcard

Print

These customizable ads and handouts offers tips for families and caregivers on how to properly dispose of medications and the importance of protecting children and the environment safe.

For questions about the toolkit, contact Western Lake Superior Sanitary District at info@wlssd.com

Package icon Handle with Care: Medication toolkit
Download customizable pdf, InDesign files (CS6), associated links and fonts, along with photos.

Videos

These short videos (30 seconds or less) are perfect for social media. Download the videos from MPCA's YouTube channel. Click on "share" for link or to add or embed to your social media or web sites.

Other resources

Dog sitting on lawn

Print

Whether you take care of a yard or a cropland, it's important to choose, use, and store pesticides and herbicides carefully. This toolkit offers tips for farmers and homeowners on agriculture and yard chemicals.

For questions about the toolkit, contact Western Lake Superior Sanitary District at info@wlssd.com

Package icon Handle with Care - Pesticides toolkit
Download customizable pdf, InDesign files (CS6), associated links and fonts, along with photos.

Videos


These short videos (30 seconds or less) are perfect for social media. Download the videos from MPCA's YouTube channel. Click on "share" for link or to add or embed to your social media or web sites.

Other resources

Mercury disposal image

 Print

Mercury can pose a risk for accidental spills, poisoning and home contamination, especially putting children and pets in harm’s way. Use this toolkit to educate contractors and families about mercury.

For questions about the toolkit, contact Western Lake Superior Sanitary District at info@wlssd.com

Package icon Handle with Care - Mercury toolkit
Download customizable pdf, InDesign files (CS6), associated links and fonts, along with photos.

Videos


These short videos (30 seconds or less) are perfect for social media. Download the videos from MPCA's YouTube channel. Click on "share" for link or to add or embed to your social media or web sites.

Other resources

Social media is another way to share information with your community. Some of the more common social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and Pinterest. Here's a few tips to consider then working with social media.

  • Keep it short. Research shows that shorter posts have higher engagement.
  • Be conversational. Communicate in an authentic voice when promoting an event or action. Include times and locations.
  • Use photos. Posts with photos get more likes and comments than text-only posts.
  • Use tags. If you mention people, organizations, or businesses, tag them in the post by using the @ symbol.
  • Shorten your link. Bitly.com can help you shorten your web link and keep track of analytics.

Example posts

Mercury

  • Video of someone properly cleaning up a broken CFL light bulb.
  • Did you know it’s illegal to throw products containing mercury, like fluorescent bulbs and old thermostats, in the garbage? Take them to [Insert HHW facility]. (include website link)
  • [Insert photo of mercury thermostat] Do you have these in your house? If you’re replacing a mercury thermostat, bring it to [Insert HHW facility] Do not throw it in the garbage. (include website link)
  • Do you know where the hazardous waste facility nearest you is? It’s … (include website link)

Pesticides

  • It’s going to be a rainy/windy weekend. Remember to hold off on spraying your lawn with fertilizer or pesticides. (Include screenshot of weekend weather forecast or link to weather website)
  • Keep your lawn healthy (and use less pesticides!) by keeping your lawn at the correct height. What’s the shortest you should mow your lawn (in inches)? First person to answer correctly wins …
  • Did you know not all lawns need pesticides? Get your lawn pH tested to find out if you need fertilizer and what kind. (include link to soil test company website)
  • True or false: When you mow, you should leave grass clippings on the lawn. (Answer: True! Grass clippings are a natural fertilizer and can often eliminate the need to use lawn care chemicals).

Pharmaceuticals

  • Statistic of how many people/pets die from accidental medication poisoning
  • Percentage of drug abuse cases that are from illicit medication abuse.
  • Dates for medication drop-off at hazardous waste facility or other location
  • Do you know where the medication drop-off spot is nearest you? It’s … (include website link)
  • Time for spring cleaning, which includes your medicine cabinet. Dispose of expired, recalled or half-used medication at [Insert HHW facility]. (include website link)
  • ALERT: Do you have [insert medication name] in your medicine cabinet? The FDA has recalled this. Bring it to [Insert HHW facility or other location] (include website link)

Permission to use

Minnesota state and local government, sanitary sewer districts, and non-profit organizations can use this toolkit to educate families, farmers, contractors, and caregivers about safely handling and disposing of medications, pesticides, and mercury. Please send a copy of your outreach products created with the toolkit to info@wlssd.com.

Other organizations can request permission to use the toolkit by contacting the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District at info@wlssd.com.

Funding for the toolkit

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District developed the Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) toolkit with funding from the Minnesota Department of Health through the State of Minnesota’s Clean Water Fund, a constitutionally established fund used to protect Minnesota’s waters.