By David E. Hess | PA Environment Digest Blog | September 1, 2022
On August 31, the Allegheny County Office of Sustainability issued the 2022 Allegheny County Sustainability Report that highlights this past year’s efforts aimed at improving the county’s overall sustainability.
The expanded report also provides a historical overview of efforts since 2009 when the first Sustainability Manager was hired.
“When I first took office, our efforts around sustainability consisted of one person in the manager’s office. Over the last decade, we have invested in hydropower and alternative fuel and electric vehicles, improved our stormwater management, and practiced sustainable development,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Our focus on working collaboratively and strategically across departments and throughout the county has reduced our impact on the community and environment. These investments have also improved our operations, our health, our bottom line and our county. I’m extremely proud of the work that our county employees have done around sustainability and delighted to see those efforts showcased in this report.”
The report highlights efforts to make our communities healthier; the improvement of park lands and waterways; the management, diversion and reduction of waste; responsible water and energy use; and the encouragement of sustainable development.
In 2021 alone, the county:
— Continued to invest in alternative and electronic fuel vehicles; the county added four electric sedans, two dual fuel garbage trucks and four Tier IV dump trucks to its fleet last year alone
— Improved stormwater impacts by adding 10 more acres of no-mow meadows, completing a green parking lot in South Park, installed a rain garden in Boyce Park and planted nearly 1,400 trees
— Diverted county waste and increased recycling including:
— Recycled 174 tons of cardboard
— Composted 0.8 tons of food waste
— Recycled 86.6 tons of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and mixed paper o Implemented a green cleaning program for janitorial services
— Recycled 78.62 tons of scrap metal
— Invested in renewable energy through the purchase of renewable energy credits a hydropower facility to be constructed on the Ohio River and installed solar pathway lights in South Park and additional solar shelters in other parks.
“We are proud to support publication of this report which showcases the significant growth of the Sustainability Office, as well as the holistic sustainability efforts of the county,” said Brittany Prischak, Sustainability Manager. “I’m impressed with how far we have come, forming strong and trusting relationships outside of Facilities Management with all of our county departments. These relationships, along with our county Green Team, have allowed us to expand our efforts as we integrate environmental best practices into county government. We are excited to see what more we can accomplish.”
The Office of Sustainability is part of the Department of Facilities Management. Its employees are responsible for the coordination and implementation of efforts within county government that promote sustainable practices.
To learn more about sustainability initiatives, visit the Allegheny County Office of Sustainability webpage.
— Erie 2030 District Achieves 22.4% Decline In Energy Use; $4.6 Million In Energy Savings; 14.6% Decline In Carbon Emissions [PaEN]