What the City is Doing
The City of Aspen does a lot to be a good steward of Aspen’s environment, but most people don’t know that the City also has internal programs and initiatives to make sure the city government practices what we preach as an organization. Review our Environmental Policy.
In Our Buildings
Recycling and Resource Use
Goals and Targets
In Our Buildings:
- Light switches are replaced with occupancy sensors where applicable.
- Overhead lighting is all efficient, low-mercury fluorescent tube.
- Faucet fixtures are low-flow with aerators, and old toilets have been retrofitted to be low-flow.
- New toilets are low-flush or dual-flush toilets.
- A 21KW solar PV system provides a portion of power to the water plant.
- The City conducted comprehensive energy audits to several large buildings.
- Employees make sure to turn off lights and computers at the end of the work day.
- Most City buildings powered by Aspen Electric (72 percent renewable energy).
- We buy recycled content paper products and office supplies when possible.
- All contracts specify environmental requirements, including the "purchase of recycled materials and other supplies that preserve, to the maximum extent possible, the environment and minimize energy consumption for their production or use."
- Purchase Energy Star rated appliances and replace old appliances with efficient ones.
Recycling and Resource Use:
Reduce and Reuse:
- City employees reuse one-sided paper, print double sided, send all memos and faxes electronically, use reusable dishes and utensils, and use erasable white boards instead of paper.
Recycling and Waste Reduction:
- City Hall offices all have mini-trash bins and large recycling bins to encourage employees to reduce their trash generation and recycle as much as possible.
- Chemical management program: Properly dispose of wastes such as batteries, toner and electronics.
- All City computers are recycled through the Pitkin County Landfill’s electronic recycling program.
- Plastic bags, phone books, and shipping and packaging materials are recycled in all departments.
- Many departments participate in the curbside compost collection program for food and other organic materials.
- The City's Parks Department composts all landscape waste.
- All cars and equipment are washed in the Streets Department wash bay, where the runoff is collected in an oil / water separation system and does not flow directly into storm drains leading to the river.
- Green Team: The Green Team is a joint program between City and County employees that aims to enhance awareness of environmental issues through employee education and participation.
- 'Environmental Values' are a part of employee's review.
- All City meetings and City hosted events meet ZGreen event standards. www.aspenzgreen.com
- City and employees adopted a highway in conjunction with the County, plan park clean ups and trail maintenance, and restore native wetland areas.
- Employees are given eight hours of paid volunteer time per year which they can use for environmental or other community service work.
- The City provides a fleet of bikes for all employees to use to run errands or go to a meeting.
- Employees use Hybrid cars, electric vehicles, walk or take the bus to meetings when possible.
- The city gives employees free bus passes to commute to work.
Goals and Targets:
- The Canary Action Plan, the City’s goals and outcomes measures, the Aspen Area Community Plan, and the Ecological Bill of Rights ensure that the City is constantly striving to reduce its carbon footprint and continue to be a leader in the environmental movement.
- Emissions tracking: The City of Aspen tracks its internal emissions annually. The City has already reduced its internal emissions by 40 percent.
- Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA (for commitment to community forestry)
- Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado Excellence in Landscape (for Jennie Adair Regional Stormwater Quality Project)
- Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses Member
- Colorado Clean Air Recognition Award (for successful efforts to lower PM-10 levels)
- Colorado Cool Biz Program Member
- Colorado Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Gold Member
- ICLEI Sustainability Leadership Award for Energy Efficiency Innovation
- Innovations in American Government (for Renewable Energy Mitigation Program)
- International Code Council chose City employee, Stephen Kanipe, to help create the first International Green Construction Code
- Renewable Award
- U.S. Dept. of Energy Wind Power Pioneer (for purchasing 3 times more wind power than any public utility in the country)