Alexandria announced its top environmental accomplishments for 2012. What would you like to see city focus on for 2013? Let Del Ray Patch know in the comments and we'll look into it.
The following information was provided by the city:
Permanent Closure of the GenOn Potomac River Generating Station – The permanent closure of this outdated coal-fired power plant marks a significant milestone for the City of Alexandria and its residents. For several years, this plant has been the single largest air pollutant source in the Northern Virginia region.
Highest-Ever Solid Waste Recycling Rate - The city reported its highest ever recycling rate of 48.4 percent to the Virginia DEQ for FY 2011. This significant increase over last year’s reported 41.4 percent recycling rate was due primarily to significant increases in overall recycling collections. The city also partnered with a local non-profit foundation to recycle 110 tons of electronic items including 2,271 televisions and computer monitors. City residents dropped off 38,000 gallons of toxic waste during 2012 thanks to the extended open hours of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.
Capital Bikeshare Established – The city launched its participation in Capital Bikeshare with the installation of eight bikeshare stations in the Old Town area. Capital Bikeshare is the largest bikeshare system in the country, with more than 180 stations in the region and more than 1,600 bicycles.
Alexandria Transit Company’s New DASH Buses and Trolleys - In April 2012, Alexandria Transit Company, the operator of DASH, took over operation of the King Street Trolley using five brand new 30-foot low-floor hybrid electric trolleys. Since ATC started operating the King Street Trolley, monthly ridership has grown significantly, increasing over 65 percent, between May and September 2012.
Solar Photovoltaic Systems Installed at Beatley Central Library and Other Alexandria Facilities - Using funding from the Department of Energy EECBG program, the City and Alexandria Library worked jointly
to complete installation of a solar photovoltaic system at the Beatley Central Library. Converting sunlight to electricity, the 42.3 Kilowatt system features 180 solar panels that spread across each of Beatley's five south-facing roof sections. Other installations of solar photovoltaic system include:
- The new restroom building at Witter Recreational Fields is the first park structure to include solar panels in the City.
- Alexandria Renew Enterprises installed 40 solar panels on the roof of its main pump station building.
Green Building Policy - The Green Building Policy approved by City Council in 2009 has been successful in ensuring new developments commit to obtaining a minimum level of green building certification. Over the last year, some of the notable projects that have been reviewed per the policy and will obtain a green building certification include: three residential buildings totaling 492 units with ground floor retail (Landmark Gateway), a 69,000 square footf grocery store with 253 residential units (Giant in Potomac Yard), a 130,000 square foot school (Jefferson Houston), a 370,000 square foot office building (IDA in Potomac Yard) and a 39,000 square foot fire station (Eisenhower Avenue Fire Station).
Sustainable Construction at Alexandria Renew - ARE is currently going through a multi-phase facility upgrade called the State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program to enhance its ability to remove nitrogen from wastewater.
Environmental Indicators - The city and Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission developed 20 environmental indicators that can be measured on a routine basis to quantify the progress made on the Eco-City initiative. One of the major findings from the first report on these indicators published in April 2012 was that increased participation and commitment from residents and businesses are essential to Alexandria’s success in reducing GHG emissions.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Construction – The city completed several bicycle and pedestrian projects in 2012 aimed at making bicycling and walking safer. In Jones Point Park, the Mount Vernon Trail has been constructed with new park and trail connections at North Royal Street linking North Royal Bike Route to Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail. For the Dora Kelley Park Trail, an eco-friendly material has been used for trail surface. Charles Barrett Elementary also got new, more pedestrian friendly walkways in front of the school.
City of Alexandria Achieves VML Platinum Level Certification for the Fifth Consecutive Year - For the fifth straight year, the city earned Platinum level certification, the highest level of recognition by the Virginia Municipal League as part of its Green Government Challenge.