Going Green this Earth Day

Strategic Initiative: Livability

As a Gilbert resident and your town manager, I made a commitment this month, one to my family and also to my community – one that we are making as a town as a whole.  I am dedicating this month, as we approach Earth Day, to our Go Green Initiative.

That means paying attention to the fact that I recycle everything I can (check out this great printable graphic).  That commitment means I will give away things I don’t want to charity, and enable our neighbors to use those items. There are so many things, big and small, that all make a giant impact on our community and in many cases on our wallets too, as an added personal advantage.

Gilbert offers many free services that can help you also embrace this Earth Day month, from free water audits to help you cut back on landscaping and inside water use, to free blue recycle and compost containers to make it easy to reduce and reuse. I also recommend this page to learn more about how you can go green in your household, and your neighborhood. Just remembering to check on Burn Days before lighting a fire, and avoiding storm water pollution, has a significant positive impact on our community and sets a good example for all of our neighbors.

If I have not caught your attention by mentioning all of the good things that come from our Go Green effort in regard to our health and the good of our community, consider this:  There are some real budget savings.  As one big example, we save about $67 per ton of material that is recycled, as opposed to wasted in a landfill.  That adds up.

We are cutting back on our mileage as well, with new contracts that allow our trash collectors to drive fewer miles. All these savings impact you as residents, who reap the reward of more cost effective services, and the possibility of lower bills. We are working closely with local businesses, with a goal of adding five new businesses to our recycling schedule each week during this month.

Thanks to our water conservation efforts, as a community we have maintained a level water use, as we continue to grow and welcome new families with new water use. We appreciate your contribution.

In Gilbert, we have also cut our costs and our carbon footprint by cutting unnecessary paper use in favor of digital – with efforts such as our Town Clerk’s decision to make Town Council agendas and other reports digital, something you can as well, for instance by enrolling in electronic utility services. We also recently added taglines to every email we sent out, reminding our partners to consider saving a digital copy, as opposed to paper. That was one of the ideas stemming from a survey of our staff. They had several other ideas that we will continue to review and implement.

Earth Day Celebration. Of course, the easiest way to join us in our effort is to join us at our annual celebration at McQueen Park Activity Center on Wednesday, April 18.  The event will include information for a variety of services meant for you, as well as a lot of education, fun and games, including crafts, face painting and a visit from Lisa’s Creatures, a family of exotic animals children can pet and learn about.

This is an important effort to our community, and one that will help us remain a community that is clean, safe and vibrant – and a good value with the best quality of life.

-Patrick Banger, Town Manager