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Toledo Continues Efforts To Go Green

New and ongoing projects make for a sustainable Earth Day

There is a lot of “green” progress being made in Toledo, and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day highlights the environmental importance and financial savings of these initiatives. Across Toledo, the City and its residents are participating in projects that promote the sustainability of our community for future generations.

On Friday, April 16th the City of Toledo will break ground on the Toledo Green Streets Program. Thanks to nearly $1 million in grant funding from the state and federal government the Maywood Avenue neighborhood will see the construction of “green infrastructure” technologies such as bioswales, new porous pavement, rain gardens and rainbarrels. Many older urban neighborhoods in Toledo have aging infrastructure (sewers & roads) that is very expensive to replace. This initiative is aimed at utilizing the latest in “green infrastructure” technologies to reduce storm water runoff and conserve water usage hence improving the overall water quality. While the City of Toledo is leading the initiative there are also several community partners involved such as the Toledo – Lucas County Rain Garden Initiative, Toledo Grows and American Rivers. The project is expected to take 3 months to complete. Similar projects have been constructed in the Northwest region of the country, but this is one of the first in the Great Lakes region.

Clean up has recently begun on the Ottawa River & Sibley Creek. The $40 million effort is led by the U.S. EPA working in conjunction with the Ottawa River Group and will remove contaminated sediment from the river. The project is made possible thanks in part to a grant from the Great Lakes Legacy Act.

This summer a photovoltaic/solar field and utility scale wind turbine will be installed at Collins Park to provide power to the water treatment plant, saving the City money on utility costs and reducing the power drawn from the grid. The combined energy generated is approximately 1.25 megawatts – enough to power approximately 1,000 residential homes.

The City will also save on utility costs and reduce power consumption thanks to the co-generation facility, which will provide energy at the Bayview Wastewater Treatment Plant. The co-gen facility utilizes methane gas created at the Hoffman Road landfill and will power parts of the wastewater treatment facility.

Toledoans continue to reduce the waste we send to the landfill by increasing their efforts to recycle. The ease of single stream recycling has encouraged greater participation since January 2010. Since the change Toledoans have increased their recyclables from 500 tons in December 2009 to 1,800 tons in March 2010. The large, blue automated bins enable Toledo residents to put all recyclables in one container for collection, saving space in their trash bins and in the landfill.

Toledo’s formal Earth Day recognition will culminate on Saturday, April 24th with the annual community clean up day. The event will kick off at 9 a.m. at Robinson Jr. High School. Residents or organizations interested in participating will be provided with bags and gloves. Those wishing to clean a specific area of town will need to register by contacting Call City Hall at 419-936-2020.

For more information on any of these story opportunities, please contact Jen Sorgenfrei at the City of Toledo.