SLO County Air Pollution Control District

In This Issue
Open Burn Season Begins
Be Safe & Be Seen on Your Bike
Fireplace & Woodstove Etiquette
Tips for a Joyful, Green Holiday Season
Tis the Season of Giving...

Every year, staff at the APCD select local non-profit organizations and pull our resources to provide some assistance to those in need. 

This year we are gathering items for the  Women's Shelter of SLO County and SLO Food Bank

Please visit or call our office at 805-781-5912 if you have any questions, or would like to help us gather items! 

We thank you for your help!

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December 2014

Upcoming Events APCD is Participating In: 
  • January 28: APCD Board Meeting at the SLO Government Center
Annual Open Burn Season Begins


December 8, marked the start of the 

2014-2015 open burn season in San Luis Obispo County. The burn season, which typically runs through the end of April, allows the burning of residential yard trimmings in backyards and agricultural waste. 


Backyard Burning is the open burning of yard waste by single family or duplex residence OUTSIDE of cities and URL/VRL areas.


Agricultural burning is defined as open outdoor fires used in agricultural operations in the growing of crops or raising of fowl or animals, used in vegetation, forest or range management, the improvement of land for wildlife and game habitat, or agricultural disease or pest prevention. All burning is only allowed on permissive burn days and with an APCD Burn Permit. 


New this year, the APCD is accepting credit card payments for all burn permits. For individuals who have held backyard burn permits within the last two burn seasons you can renew and purchase your permit online. 


For more information on the Open Burning Program, please visit the APCD website

Brighten Up The Holidays - Be Safe & Be Seen!


On the shortest days of the year, the sun sets between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. This means a dark commute for those who ride their bikes to and from work, out to grab dinner, or on a last-minute holiday gift run! Staying safe is a top priority during this exciting time of year with so many people out and about. So sport your most fashionable reflective gear and comply with California's regulations on bicycle lighting at night. According to the California Bicycle Coalition, the following lighting is required by law when it is dark:

  • White headlight in the front
  • Red reflector in the back
  • White or yellow reflectors on the pedals, bicyclist's ankles, or bicyclist's shoes
  • White or yellow reflectors on both sides of the front half of the bicycle
  • Red or yellow reflectors on both sides of the back half of the bicycle
Here at the APCD, all of our bicycle commuters are doing their best to be safe and seen this season!
Heat Your Home & Protect Your Health


If burning wood is a heat source in your household, follow these clean burning tips to heat your home more efficiently and protect yourself and the community from the harmful effects of wood smoke:

  • Burn only "seasoned" and dry firewood.
  • Don't burn: garbage, plastics, Styrofoam, rubber, paint, oil, treated wood, particle board, plywood, driftwood, charcoal and colored or glossy paper. These products produce noxious, corrosive smoke and fumes which may be toxic to your family and pets.
  • Build a small, HOT fire first to preheat the firebox and chimney.
  • Maintain your fire properly and refuel while the coals are still hot.
  • Watch for smoke signals. If you see smoke out of your chimney, adjust your dampers or air inlets to let in more air. The darker the smoke, the more pollutants it contains.
  • Once you are done with the fire, ensure it is put out completely. A smoldering pile of ash is a major contributor to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
  • Make sure to inspect and upkeep your chimney once a year.
Have a Joyful, Green Season

The holidays are a time for family, friends, giving, and, consequently, a lot of buying! Consumerism thrives this time of year and it's important to be conscious of our consumption and waste production during the winter more than any other time. Here are 5 simple ways to have a sustainable holiday season that can be easier on your wallet:


  1. Shop Local -- Whether you are shopping for a special holiday dinner, or the perfect gift for friends and family, many items in today's marketplace come from halfway around the world. On the central coast we have a wide array of amazing products that are available in our backyard. Shop for local goods and reduce the added costs of transportation and impacts to our air quality. 
  2. Use a real tree -- It is commonly believed that using a real tree is worse for the environment, but this is not the case! Fake trees are full of plastics and synthetics and eventually end up in a landfill, while the  real ones are usually planted and farmed for the purpose of the holiday season and remove carbon dioxide out of the air while they grow.
  3. Recyclable wrapping paper -- Packaging is a huge source of environmental degradation during this time of year. Reuse your wrapping paper from last year, or if you didn't save it, purchase wrapping paper that has been recycled, and can be again! Also look for gifts that don't involve multiple layers of thick plastic and packaging in their presentation.
  4. Finish the food on your plate -- Gathering around a table full of food is a perfect time for family and friends to bond during the holidays, but food waste is extremely high during this time of year. Only put on your plate what you intend to eat, then put aside some leftovers, and if there's still more food left, donate to a shelter!
  5. Use LED lights for decorative lighting -- Using energy efficient bulbs saves money and the air. Also try reducing the size of your displays and using other creative ways to decorate the house and yard, like natural wreathes and pine cones.
Thank you for taking the time to read our e-newsletter! If you have any questions regarding programs of the Air Pollution Control District, please give us a call at 805-781-5912. You can also email the APCD at [email protected]
SLO County Air Pollution Control District