It's a GREEN thing! Recycling Guide
The City of Littleton has long supported environmentally friendly practices in its operations and in the community. In honor of Earth Day 2008, the City of Littleton launched "It's a Green Thing," an expanded recycling initiative for employees, which made it even easier for city staff to recycle trash at their workstations. City Manager Jim Woods urges residents, businesses and employees to participate in the greening of Littleton by recycling, conserving gas and water, using reusable beverage containers (instead of paper cups or single use water bottles), and turning off room lights when not in use.
City Receives Environmental Award
The City of Littleton recently learned it will be awarded the Bronze Tier of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The award recognizes significant achievement in improving the environment of Colorado through: improvement in air and water quality; reducing water and energy usage; solid and/or hazardous waste reduction; implementing pollution prevention actions; land use improvements or protection; environmental education, outreach or mentoring; or other innovative measures that benefit the environment. The ELP offers benefits and incentives to members that voluntarily go beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and are committed to continual environmental improvement. The city was formally recognized by the CDPHE at a ceremony in November.
CFL Recycling At Local ACE Hardware Stores
Colorado residents can drop-off used compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and mercury-containing thermostats for recycling at any Ace Hardware store in the state of Colorado. Store employees will receive hand-delivered bulbs and thermostats and place in special bins. When the bins are full, the entire CFL bin will be recycled — the contents and the container — to ensure no mercury leakage. The bulb-recycling program is for CFLs only, not fluorescent tubes, and is intended for residential use, not for businesses or the commercial industry.
Grocery Stores Recycle Plastic Bags
Most grocery stores have a program to recycle plastic grocery bags, and most are selling reusable bags made from recycled material. In addition, many stores offer a 5-cent rebate off your grocery bill for each bag (plastic or reusable) that the customer brings to reuse at the checkout.
City-Sponsored "GREEN" Events & Efforts
- Every September, the cities of Littleton and Englewood sponsor and fund the annual "Household Hazardous Waste Roundup," collecting thousands of pounds of solid waste and hundreds of gallons of liquid waste and properly disposing of it. 2009 was the 12th year of the program.
- In 2009, the City of Littleton sponsored a free day for citizens to recycle unwanted electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, radios and monitors. More than 42,000 pounds of equipment was recycled. To better serve our residents, the city will continue electronics recycling through the annual Summer Cleanup and Recycling Program.
- Celebrating its 21st year in 2009, the city's "Keep Littleton Beautiful Summer Clean up Program" is a free service that has city crews come to residents' homes and remove unwanted items such as old appliances, construction materials, etc. that normal trash haulers will not accept. Each year, Since the program's beginning, hundreds of pounds of Freon have been removed and recycled from old refrigerators.
- In 1993, the Cities of Littleton and Englewood began a free leaf recycling program and tire recycling for a small fee. The program is held in November each year.
- Since 1995, the city and South Suburban Parks and Recreation have sponsored the "Christmas Tree Recycling Program" that has resulted in thousands of trees being ground into mulch that is available free to the public.
- Irrigation water use on city properties in 2007 showed a 29 percent reduction compared to the amount used in 2001. This 16,036,000 gallon reduction saved the city $46,344.
- In 2004, city employees began recycling ink cartridges, cell phones and batteries through Donations, Ink. The company donates one dollar per item to Littleton Public Schools.
- In 2007, the city employee newsletter, "Team Talk," went entirely electronic, saving thousands of sheets of paper each year.
- In 2007, the city Traffic Division changed all traffic lights to LEDs that use about one tenth the electricity of traditional bulbs and last up to seven years.
- The City of Littleton Fleet facility installed a new fuel dispensing site in 2008 for E85 for the city's 30 flex fuel vehicles. The city makes the fuel available to other local public agencies who wish to purchase it. The State Fleet Administration was the first agency to sign on.
- The City of Littleton Fleet Division downsized many vehicles in 2008, acquired and encouraged the use of alternative fuels, placed additional hybrid electric vehicles in the field, and delayed the replacement of many vehicles that are still serviceable.
- Working with the Regional Air Quality Council, the Fleet Division participated in a grant that funded emissions reducing devices installed on about 20 older diesel engines.
- On Earth Day 2008, the city launched "It's A Green Thing," an aggressive desk side, single-stream recycling program for employees. Four-hundred-seventy (almost equal to the number of city employees!) desk side recycling containers were distributed at each of the city's 13 buildings. It is estimated that the ratio between trash and recyclable material is now 70 percent recycled and 30 percent trash. Recycled water bottles were given to all employees who wanted them to discourage the use of disposable cups.
- The 2008 Bemis Library Adult Summer Reading Program theme was "Read and Renew the Earth." A series of programs throughout the summer helped celebrate the earth and provided attendees with tips on how to protect it.
- In May 2008, Bemis Public Library began using biodegradable bags made from corn to give to customers to carry their checked out items. The bio bags replace traditional plastic bags.
- In March 2008, the city council approved the waiver of all building permit fees, plan review fees and city sales tax for the installation of residential solar and photovoltaic systems. A survey of Colorado cities and counties found that some have a reduced fee but none waive the fee completely. It is believed that Littleton is the first city or county in the state to eliminate fees and taxes related to solar systems.
- The Building Maintenance Division recycles all used florescent bulbs from city buildings.
- As a supporter of Xcel Energy’s Windsource program since 2004, the City of Littleton purchases 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable wind energy per year. That equates to preventing roughly 1,190 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere from traditional generation sources. It’s also the equivalent annual carbon dioxide emission of 218 cars, 158 homes, and 49,585 propane barbecues (Source: EPA Power Profiler).
- Lighting upgrades in city buildings including timer controls, motion sensors, and daylight harvesting controls have been installed to save energy.
- Regarding the print shop, the goal is to print on papers that utilize the highest percentages possible of recycled and responsibly harvested fibers, processed without the use of chlorine or chlorine derivatives.
- The Littleton Calendar and Annual Report, which is published each December, is printed on New Leaf Reincarnation Matte Paper. The paper is 100 percent recycled with 50 percent post-consumer waste, and processed chlorine-free. The city saved 35 fully grown trees, 7,510 gallons of water and 2,776 pounds of greenhouse gases not released into the atmosphere.
- The Littleton Report is now printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks.
- In 2009, the building maintenance division installed new lighting fixtures at the Fleet Maintenance Facility that removed the 32, 1,000-watt-per-hour devices and replaced them with T-5 technology fixtures that are rated at 100 watts per hour. The new lights will consume 28,800 watts per day compared to the existing 288,000 watts per day!
- In 2008 and 2009, the city partnered with Rocky Mountain Sustainable Enterprises on RecycOil, to allow residents to recycle used cooking oil. The oil is then recycled for use as a bio fuel.
- In 2009, the building maintenance staff completed the conversion of the bay heating system in Fire Station #11 to the Littleton Center almost three months ahead of schedule. This project will reduce electrical and natural gas consumption by tapping into the Littleton Center’s highly efficient new boiler system and eliminate Station #11’s very inefficient electric boiler and domestic hot water heater.
- In 2008, all departments were directed to purchase recycled and recyclable cups for their work areas as opposed to plastic and Styrofoam. Employees are also encouraged to contract with caterers who use recycled and recyclable plates, cups and utensils, made primarily of corn.
- In 2008, the city discontinued purchasing bottled water for city council meetings. A water dispenser was installed in the community room with recycled and recyclable cups for meetings.
- At all city-sponsored events, recycling containers are placed throughout the venue so that participants can recycle bottles and cans.
- In 2008, the city published a booklet for citizens that provides information on private sector recycling programs, recycling year round, and where to recycle less common items such as fluorescent bulbs.
- All City of Littleton employees are encouraged to duplex printed documents when possible and practical.
- In 2008, the city’s Information Services (IS) Department standardized its blade server technology, which means that the IS Department orders blade servers when new servers are purchased or current stand-alone servers are replaced. Blade server technology could lead to a 53-percent reduction in technology energy use.
- The city’s Tree Committee has distributed more than 4,000 shade trees to residents since the inception of the Tree Program in 1996. Citizens purchase these trees at reduced rates each spring and may plant them on any property within the city limits.
- The Littleton Police Department has been recycling used (fired) brass cartridge cases at their firing range for the past 20 years. The brass is taken to a metals recycler. The proceeds are then spent directly on range supplies: targets, target backers, staples, etc. Typically about 600 pounds of brass is recycled each year. The fired bullets are typically made of copper-jacketed lead. After the lead bullets enter the ground, a lead mitigation company comes in every few years and digs all of the fired bullets out of the dirt, melts it to separate the lead from the copper, and recycles both.