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Erase the Waste Campaign

Erase the Waste Campaign


Elimina los Desperdicios en Español

Erase the Waste logoThe California Water Boards (the Water Boards) are pleased to offer the free multilingual California Storm Water Toolbox (below), a comprehensive set of educational and outreach tools developed as part of the Board's Erase the Waste campaign. These action-oriented tools are free to all interested parties and have already been shared with environmental representatives from California and U.S. cities, China, Mexico and South Korea. The Toolbox will continue to be promoted both nationally and abroad.

The Erase the Waste campaign, sponsored by the Water Boards, is a public education program, working to reduce harmful storm water pollution and improve the environment of the region’s coastal and inland communities. The campaign started in Los Angeles County, and materials produced during its three-year run have now been packaged here for state and nationwide use. It is built around the theme, Erase the Waste – a positive, empowering theme that encourages all residents and stakeholders to take ownership of their communities, help reduce and prevent storm water pollution from the local landscape and “become part of the pollution solution.”

To engage residents in the issue of storm water pollution prevention, the campaign has taken an innovative approach by focusing on the compelling health problem of storm water pollution, which affects the health and safety of families and children – in addition to focusing on the environmental effects.

The California Storm Water Toolbox includes the following tools for residents, community and civic groups, educators, municipalities and public agencies:

  • Advertisements, posters, collateral materials and a comprehensive Neighborhood Action Kit in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese – a comprehensive “how-to” guide to community-focused pollution prevention
  • A landmark Water Quality Service Learning Model for grades 4-6 that meets the state’s curriculum standards
  • The Water Quality Detectives After School Program, an adapted version of the curriculum for middle school and after school setting
  • The California Storm Water Resource Directory, an online inventory of storm water materials developed in partnership with the California Storm Water Quality Association

The empowering theme of these materials is one that will resonate in any community and we encourage your use of them to educate your residents about storm water pollution prevention. If you have any additional questions or would like to receive further information about the Erase the Waste campaign, please contact the Office of Public Affairs, California Water Boards, (916) 341-5254.

The California Storm Water Toolbox

All elements of the California Storm Water Toolbox are downloadable and free of charge. We hope that these resources will increase the effectiveness of your storm water pollution prevention efforts. Thank you for your leadership and for working together to help make our communities pollution-free.

Free Multilingual Outreach Materials

Files for the campaign’s posters, tip cards, Neighborhood Action Kit, and print advertisements have been provided to you at no cost and your organization may use these files to produce materials and advertisements for your own outreach efforts without any permission or fees. However, if you choose to place paid advertising, you will be responsible for your media buying costs.

Additionally, the Water Boards have created space on these materials for the insertion of your organization’s logo, phone number and Web address if you would like to add them. All other text, images and logos must remain intact and unaltered when these files are utilized.

File Information

The listed materials have been provided for your use in Quark and PDF. The file format you utilize depends on the product you are creating and the technology you use. Quark is a graphic design program that can be purchased at any computer store. However, it is an advanced program that does require some training. Adobe Reader is the application needed to open.PDF files. If you do not have this application on your current system, you can go to http://www.adobe.com to download the program at no cost. Again, if you need technical assistance, we suggest working with your in house IT department or a local graphic artist.

The files for these materials can be used in the following manner:

  • Quark – high resolution file that allows insertion of your logo/phone number/web address. Used for commercial printing of materials.
  • PDF – lower resolution file that does not allow for insertion of your logo/phone number/web address. Used for printing from laser jet printer.


Files for campaign posters are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese. These posters educate residents about pollution prevention and can be posted on your Website, distributed to your residents, or placed at local businesses or organizations that have agreed to help with your outreach effort.

Included posters cover the following:

  • Picking up after your pet
  • Reducing litter
  • Completing home improvement projects without polluting the environment (English and Spanish only)

Tip Cards

Files for campaign tip cards are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese. These informational cards are tip-oriented handouts, meant to introduce the storm water pollution problem to residents and offer easy to implement pollution prevention tips. These tip cards can be posted on your organization’s Website or distributed to residents through a variety of channels, including local fairs and festivals, at your organization’s offices or through partnerships you develop with retail and community organizations. Included tip cards cover the following:

  • Multiple pollutants (including cigarette butts, litter, pet waste and household hazardous waste)
  • Pet waste
  • Gardening
  • Paint (English and Spanish only)

Print Advertisements

Files for the campaign’s print advertisements are available in both English and Spanish. These advertisements are being provided to you at no cost. Your organization can supplement its outreach efforts through placement of these advertisements in any appropriate publication, without the need to obtain permission or to pay fees. However, if you choose to place paid advertising, you will be responsible for your media buying costs. Advertisements include:

  • "Health Threat" (focus: litter)
  • "Cause & Effect" (focus: cigarette butts)
  • "Drop Something" (focus: pet waste)

Neighborhood Action Kits

Files for the campaign’s Neighborhood Action Kits are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The files are only available in PDF format. The Neighborhood Action Kit is a comprehensive how to guide, designed to help residents develop pollution prevention activities in their communities. The kit includes resource materials and easy-to-follow get involved suggestions encouraging residents to take simple actions – such as adopting a local park as a trash free zone or staging community cleanups. The kit contains resources, information, tools and tips that can be utilized and implemented successfully in any community.

  • English Statewide Erase the Waste Neighborhood Action Kit
  • Spanish Statewide Erase the Waste Neighborhood Action Kit
  • Chinese Los Angeles County Erase the Waste Neighborhood Action Kit
  • Korean Los Angeles County Erase the Waste Neighborhood Action Kit
  • Vietnamese Los Angeles County Erase the Waste Neighborhood Action Kit

Radio Advertisements

We have provided you with short samples of each of the campaign radio advertisements, along with full text scripts for your review purposes.

If you would like to obtain master copies of these radio advertisements for use in your own outreach efforts, you will need to pay additional talent fees. These advertisements were produced using professional voice over talent, who are paid a talent fee for the airing of their work for a set amount of time. Additionally, if you choose to air paid advertising, you will be responsible for your media buying costs.

While these peripheral costs are required, remember that these ads were professionally produced, and you are already saving a significant amount on creative costs that would normally be associated with the development of new radio ads.

If your organization would like to receive master copies of the radio advertisements, please complete the Radio Advertisement Usage Waiver Form. This form should be faxed to the Office of Public Affairs, California Water Boards, (916) 341-5252. If you have any questions regarding these advertisements, please call (916) 341-5254.

Files for the following radio advertisements:

  • "Take One for the Team" (focus: litter)
  • "Hold on to Your Butts" (focus: cigarette butts)
  • "Drop Something" (focus: pet waste)

These advertisements were created in the standard 60-second format. However, to allow for customized use, these advertisements have been shortened to 50-second spots. These shorter length advertisements allow your organization to include a 10-second message at the end. This message could give your organization recognition or allow you to promote a specific program or resource of your organization, such as "This message brought to you by the City of Anytown. Visit our Web site at www.anytown.com to learn how you can prevent pollution." This "tag" can be professionally recorded and added to the advertising file or you may draft a "tag" that can be read by the station’s on-air personalities.

Water Quality Service Learning Program

Water Quality Service Learning Program - Instructional tools designed specifically for 4th through 6th grade levels that use the educational process known as "service learning," integrating inquiry-based learning with outdoor exercises to increase student's awareness of polluted runoff. The lessons aim to educate students on water quality and water pollution prevention. Student handouts are available in English and Spanish.

Log onto Water Lessons for additional resources and support, including a video specifically for school administrators.
(Website currently unavailable - please check back later.)

  • Water Quality Detectives After School Program - This program, based on the Water Quality Service Learning Program, uses the same outdoor exercises, and appeals to a wide range of ages for the after school setting.

California Storm Water Resource Directory

A web-based directory of storm water materials from throughout the state, developed in partnership with the California Storm Water Quality Association.

Los Angeles County Erase the Waste Campaign