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Hazelwood's Green Committee: Major Plans to Turn the City Green

At their second meeting, the Green Committee pitches ideas for improving the community and brings in environmental specialists to discuss possibly city-wide programs.

The Green Committee held its second meeting on Tuesday. Committee member Councilwoman Mary Singleton told Hazelwood Patch that three special speakers were on the agenda, drawing local residents, particularly from the apartment and condominium community.

Ellie Blankenship from CTS Energy Consultants told those in attendance about a green project the organization has headed up in cooperation with the city. Singleton says that the $1 million program, covered by a small no-interest loan through energy savings and a grant written by CTS, is approximately 95 percent complete here in Hazelwood.

CTS Energy Consultants have focused on replacing light bulbs in city buildings with energy efficient CFLs (Compact Florescent Lights), examining heating and cooling systems, and more. The organization guaranteed Hazelwood that the money saved from these improvements will reach the $1 million mark in approximately 15 years; if it doesn’t, Singleton says the city will get their money back, essentially being reimbursed. This an other measures the committee is trying to get implemented are seem to be pleasing the community.

“I’m impressed with Hazelwood municipal leadership in acknowledging the importance of green activities," said Committee Chair Ron Darling. "Both the implementation of cost effective energy efficiency infrastructure and establishing a resident-based committee to seek out sound green environmental solutions for Hazelwood’s future.”

John Wagner from Focus St. Louis spoke about a program offered to provide interns for municipal government to implement climate change action plans. Singleton said that she was unsure of whether or not Hazelwood would be participating in this particular program. The main goal of Wagner’s executive summary of the program was to provide useful and informative knowledge about what is available to the city.

Rob Paxton of Allied Waste, the trash servicer for the City of Hazelwood, said the final agenda item particularly appealing to those in attendance was for those who reside in, manage, or own apartment and condominium complexes. Paxton provided an explanation of a recycling program exclusively for multi-family complexes being offered through a partnership between Allied Waste and Armstrong Teasdale Environmental.

The program would offer door-to-door recycling as well as waste service for residents in these types of complexes. Paxton explained that there are very few successful programs that have been initiated in the area, for the recycling needs of the multi-family complex community. In fact, less than five percent of the multi-family complexes here in Hazelwood offer recycling programs, Paxton said.

With the proposed program, residents would bag up their recyclables voluntarily, and have them picked up at their doors on specific week days. Residents would not be provided with bins or containers because of their already limited space options.

“Because we know that residents already have limitations in the space that they have to utilize, we  would be trying to provide a lot of flexibility with this program," Paxton said. "(Thus) making it as easy as possible for them to participate.”

Though the project has not yet been approved, Paxton along other Green Committee members hope that it will soon become a reality here in Hazelwood. Grant money from St. Louis County and Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, would be available to assist in the cost, though ultimately it would be up to property management in each individual complex. Several communities in St. Louis and St. Charles counties are participating in the program already.

The committee also discussed plans for Hazelwood’s upcoming Recycling Day, coming in June. Right now the event is set to be held at on June 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event details will be forthcoming in Hazelwood Patch's events section.

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