With the spring season right around the corner, the city is thinking green – and encouraging residents to do so as well. Protecting the environment has been a city goal since incorporation.
Since 2005, over 91 percent of construction and demolition debris in Santa Clarita has been recycled, totaling over 106,000 tons of reusable materials. The city maintains more than 134,000 trees and the National Arbor Day Foundation has named the city “Tree City USA” 28 years in a row. Trees improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases and provide shade and habitat.
Santa Clarita has been on the forefront of using smart city technology to save water and continues to have the largest single deployment of weather-based smart irrigation controllers in the world. These controllers work by utilizing real-time weather data and site specific landscape conditions to limit water usage to only what is needed. This has allowed savings of more than two billion gallons of water since 2010.
Also, in 2010 the city began installing solar-powered Bigbelly smart waste and recycling stations. Santa Clarita now has a total of 118 stations at parks, libraries, bus stops, Metrolink stations and other busy spots. These Bigbelly stations use solar panels to power the interior compactor, allowing the 35 gallon station to securely hold 150 gallons of material, which reduces the number of collections (and therefore fuel consumption) by 75 percent. The city of Santa Clarita was recognized for achieving 66 percent diversion in the Bigbelly waste stream, the highest diversion rate of any city currently utilizing the technology.
The city is also looking to add additional environmentally friendly equipment to park maintenance operations. Santa Clarita has worked closely with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to test new electric battery operated park maintenance equipment. Maintaining 34 parks is no easy task, and the parks staff uses powerful equipment in addition to environmentally friendly products and resources in their day-to-day operations.
“Our parks staff is responsible for maintaining 200 acres of grass at our dozens of parks,” said Parks Manager Susan Nelson. “Central Park alone is an impressive 120 acres overall with 34 acres of mowed grass. This massive operation requires large-scale equipment. The city works tirelessly to meet the needs of parks maintenance operations while protecting the environment. We do this by researching battery operated equipment, converting to LED lighting, using green sealed certified janitorial products and even bio-degradable dog waste bags.”
It is now easier than ever for residents to move green, thanks to additional electric vehicle charging stations located at various city locations. The city is currently in the process of installing electric vehicle charging stations at select city locations in the next few months.
One of the best ways for residents to get involved in the city’s green efforts and learn more about how to protect our environment is at the annual Earth Arbor Day celebration coming this spring to Central Park on Saturday, April 27. The community can look forward to a fair like atmosphere, cArt aRt Contest and the 10th Annual Home and Garden Show presented by KHTS Radio.
Learn more by visiting GreenSantaClarita.com for a complete list of green events and programs in Santa Clarita, and to sign up for the Green Santa Clarita eNotify, a monthly newsletter sent right to your email. Also, like GreenSantaClarita on Facebook for green tips and updates.