With sustainability gaining steam as a key goal for St. Louis area municipalities, the Clean Air Partnership continues to use our blog to highlight some of the incredible eco-friendly initiatives underway in several cities across the region. These efforts are not only improving the environment, but are also helping to reduce air pollution in the region. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on the City of University City.
In recent years, University City has been a participant in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge and the recently created Green Cities Challenge. And, the city has made great environmental strides as part of its involvement in both initiatives.
The Green Business Challenge is a joint program of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Missouri Botanical Garden that helps businesses of all types and sizes to integrate “Triple Bottom Line” (fiscal, social and environmental) measures into the kinds of daily operations common to every business. Participants identify and adopt strategies that improve financial performance and engage employees in voluntary measures to reduce environmental impacts. In 2015, the Green Cities Challenge was established to give St. Louis area municipalities a new way to get involved in the Green Business Challenge and to provide the cities with opportunities to learn how to incorporate sustainable policies and practice sustainable fundamentals within their local government business operations.
Many of University City’s sustainable efforts have been focused on recycling, storm water management and energy efficiency. The city has implemented a commercial recycling initiative that has grown to include 145 members. The city’s updated recycling deposit center accepts typical items, like cardboard and glass, along with textiles and plastic film. The City’s recycling center has also started using a cardboard compactor, has updated its signage and has begun distributing educational materials to area residents. The city also continues to expand its stormwater management efforts by requiring downspout disconnections to sewers and is helping the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District curb water pollution. University City is one of the 58 St. Louis area municipalities that has agreed to comply with permit requirements for the St. Louis Metropolitan Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The general permit for small MS4s requires the development and implementation of a formal, written stormwater management program plan.
The city has also worked to replace inefficient lighting, resulting in an energy savings of 100,000 kWh per year. And, to help reduce emissions, the city’s Green Practices Commission is examining ways to enforce “No Idling” policies at area schools, and for University City vehicles.
To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. For more information on the sustainable efforts underway in University City, check out the St. Louis Green Business Challenge website at http://stlouisgreenchallenge.com/.