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Resource Conservation
The City is committed to reducing the impact of its operation on our community and the environment. Within our organization, the City promotes resource conservation and sustainability in the following ways:

Energy Efficiency
  • Every Watt Counts!—In 2011 the City completed a variety of energy efficient lighting upgrades and other energy efficiency measures. As a result of these projects, the City is saving 95.69 kW and approximately $117,000 annually.  
  • Utilizing and implementing innovating energy saving technologies.
  • Burn fleet-generated waste oil to heat warehouse.
  • Motion-detecting lighting at some City facilities.
  • Monthly meetings with La Plata Electric Association to audit power usage in City facilities.
  • Energy efficient office equipment.
  • LED lighting for some City facilities. 
  • HVAC systems updated in yearly budget process.
  • Full-sized trucks replaced with compact trucks within City fleet when applicable.
  • Water Efficiency.
  • Water-efficient landscape ordinance.
  • Water-efficient fixtures at City facilities.

Reduce/Eliminate Waste
  • The City provides recycling services for La Plata and surrounding counties
  • Environmental Purchasing Policy
  • Only paper products recyclable in Durango's program are purchased by ity
  • All city facilities participate in recycling program
  • Electronic distribution of internal City publications
  • Requirement for multi-family complexes to provide recycling opportunities to tenants
  • Requirement for new businesses to provide space for recycling bins
  • Requirement for all proposal submittal to consist of recyclable paper only (no binders,
  • plastics)
  • Electronic distribution of City's Annual Report
  • Electronic distribution of City's Annual Budget
  • Automotive waste from fleet vehicles recycled

Reduce/Eliminate Release of Pollutants
  • Hybrid and Flex fuel (ethanol) fueled vehicles included in City fleet
  • Stormwater runoff treated for removal of pollutants for City projects
  • Stormwater runoff treated for private projects over 1⁄2 acre
  • Storm sewer outfalls monitored for pollutants

Renewable & Innovative Products and Processes
  • Forty-five percent of the power that the City purchases is green power  
  • The City produces 4% of its total power through on-site generation of renewable energy
  • Methane gas converted to electrical energy at City's Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Digester to heat water for City's Wastewater Treatment Plant building
  • Biosolids applied to agricultural lands
  • Synthetic oils that are recovered from the City fleet are used to heat the Maintenance Shop
  • Purchase of environmentally preferable alternatives promoted
  • No idling encouraged for City vehicles

Support Biodiversity
  • Bear-resistant garbage containers available to residents
  • Fruit trees allowed in City landscaping
  • 2,703.20 acres of land preserved.

Sustainable Development
  • Public Library is registered under the LEED Green Building Rating System with Gold Rating
  • Transit Center is registered under the LEED Green Building Rating System
  • Green building techniques incorporated at Police Substation
  • Walkable communities encouraged
  • Extensive network of trails for pedestrians and bicycles
  • Local purchasing of goods encouraged
  • Installation of solar hot water panels on Recreation Center
  • Improve Employee and Community Health & Safety
  • Janitorial staff required to use green/safe products
  • Sponsors a household battery recycling program
  • Sponsors two electronics recycling events annually 
  • Co-sponsors a biennial household hazardous waste collection event
  • Sponsors free mulch days for City residents
  • Maintains "Tree City USA" designation
  • Annual health fair for City employees