As the Clean Air Partnership continues to spotlight local municipalities utilizing innovative approaches to create cleaner, greener environments where constituents can live, work and learn, this month we’re pleased to recognize the City of Edwardsville for their long-term commitment to sustainability that shapes city operations and future planning.
Located just 20 miles outside of the City St. Louis and home to nearly 27,000 residents, Edwardsville has rolled out a number of programs and resources to improve sustainability. For example, the city’s Single-Use Bag Fee Ordinance requires a 10 cent per bag fee for disposable plastic and paper checkout bags at all retail businesses greater than 7,000 square feet to help reduce waste and build a more sustainable community. Since plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources that are non-biodegradable and difficult to recycle, they often end up as litter in the community and natural environment. And while paper bags are recyclable, they take large amounts of water and energy to produce.
Additional green improvements that helped earn Edwardsville recognition in the 2022 St. Louis Green Cities Challenge included the construction of a new, environmentally efficient fire station in the heart of the city’s growing eastern corridor. The station features solar panels to offset electricity costs and emissions released into the atmosphere, radiant floor heating to more efficiently and quickly warm bays and dry wet equipment, and bi-fold bay doors that open and close in about a third of the time to speed up emergency egress and limit building heat loss.
“It is important for every community to pursue sustainability, but as the County Seat, the home of the largest university in the St. Louis region, and the nexus of a growing bicycle pedestrian movement, Edwardsville is uniquely positioned to be a leader in reducing energy consumption, harmful vehicle emissions, and single use waste, while transitioning to more sustainable practices,” said SJ Morrison, 4th Ward Alderman for the City of Edwardsville.
Moreover, the Good Dirt Community Garden completed its first growing season at Meyer YMCA where community members grew their own vegetables and learned about the importance of composting, which largely benefits air quality. The city also passed two green ordinances – one allowing EV charging stations in all zoning districts and guiding compost bin/pile placement on residential property and the other to ensure that new and redeveloped properties will install lights that do not illuminate above a horizontal plane to reduce light pollution. Lastly, the city held its first ever Trail Summit with Madison County Transit for community leaders to discuss where they want connections in their communities and approved a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan to promote air quality-friendly ways to get around town.
For more information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Edwardsville and how your municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore the Clean Air Partnership’s website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.