Green Week

Green Week in the City of Gaithersburg kicks off today with our Environmental Awards reception.  For details on events throughout the week, click here.  This series of interesting programs is a great way to highlight Gaithersburg’s special commitment to being green.

We have been recognized as a “Tree City USA” for many years, and in recent years we have approved some of the most cutting-edge construction standards to ensure that all new commercial, multifamily residential, and municipal buildings are LEED certified.  Our new Youth Center in Olde Towne recently was named the very first LEED-Platinum youth center in the entire nation! The City’s environmentally friendly vehicle fleet includes hybrid cars, retrofitted diesel trucks, and a new fuel management system to reduce pollution and waste.

We are using stimulus funds to conduct energy efficiency audits at city facilities, and some of our newer developments have committed to LED street lamps.  Our renowned Winter Lights festival has now also converted to LED lights.  We are pursuing legal proceedings to require Pepco to create incentives for converting more street lamps to LED bulbs.  Our city council meeting packets have gone digital to reduce our paper consumption, we have kicked off an employee vanpool, and our development goals focus on walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities in line with “smart growth” sustainability standards.

We preserve open space with several city parks and with strict requirements on new development.  We are designing new stormwater management standards in line with new state and federal directives for protecting the Chesapeake Bay, and we offer subsidies for the installation of rain barrels.  Our new procurement guidelines also weigh in favor of companies that use environmentally friendly methods.

And of course, we provide free 65-gallon recycling bins for every single-family home or townhouse that wants one, and we were one of the first jurisdictions in the region to implement “single stream” recycling and accept a wider array of plastic containers and other items for recycling.

It’s no wonder our official city color is green and our logo centers around a tree.  I am proud to have helped institute many of these initiatives, and I will continue my strong commitment to environmentalism and energy efficiency if re-elected.

 

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