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Mayor Gray Opens District Government’s First Composting Station & Shares Progress on Sustainable DC Implementation

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mayor Gray Opens District Government’s First Composting Station & Shares Progress on Sustainable DC Implementation

Almost Half of Plan’s Actions Underway; Mayor Highlights New Initiatives

(WASHINGTON, DC) – As part of this week’s activities celebrating Earth Day, today Mayor Vincent C. Gray reported on progress in implementing the Sustainable DC Plan during a press conference at the Department of Public Works (DPW) Benning Road Transfer Station. There, he discussed innovative new projects to help the District become the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the nation, in particular highlighting four initiatives in the plan that are now being implemented: 

  • DPW’s first composting drop-off spot at the Benning Road facility, the first in a number of steps to support a larger composting strategy;
  • New battery and anti-idling technology in the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Ford Police Interceptor fleet that will reduce air pollution and save fuel and taxpayer dollars;
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) new community gardens in each ward to increase access to fresh, healthy food across the District; and
  • The Department of General Services’ (DGS) aggressive Game Change initiative to reduce energy consumption in District facilities by 20 percent in 20 months and save the District more than $10 million dollars annually. 

“The progress on the Sustainable DC Plan is truly significant,” said Mayor Gray. “Since we announced the plan just two months ago, 66 of its 143 actions are already underway, and I have committed $4.5 million for swift implementation of a dozen innovative projects this year. I’ve also requested $5 million more in my Fiscal Year 2014 budget to expand cutting-edge initiatives. I am committing the full resources of the District government to ensuring that we achieve the ambitous goals of the plan and deliver benefits to all our residents and businesses.”

According to Keith A. Anderson, Acting Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), Sustainable DC is already changing the way District government does business. “We are already seeing results from the Mayor’s commitment to enhance the city’s environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Virtually every District government agency is coming up with creative new ways to make their operations more efficient and our city more sustainable.” 

“The District government’s rapid progress towards meeting the Sustainable DC goals, coupled with the efforts of the private, non-profit and institutional sectors, is solidifying the District of Columbia’s position as a national leader in sustainability,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning (OP). 

DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. added, “DPW is proud to be part of Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC Plan. Allowing organic waste to be transferred at the Benning Road facility to be composted is an important step towards meeting our zero-waste goal for 2032. This supports local businesses and will reduce truck traffic and improve air quality in the District.” 

Mayor Gray released the Sustainable DC Plan in February. It contains 32 goals and targets and 143 specific actions to make the District the nation’s greenest, healthiest, most livable city in 20 years. The goals and actions address four challenges (jobs and the economy, health and wellness, equity and diversity, and climate and the environment) and seven solutions (the built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, and water). The plan is the result of a 20-month collaborative process that included the participation of more than 5,000 members of the community, who offered nearly 1,500 ideas for making the District more sustainable.

A copy of the Sustainable DC Plan is available at www.sustainable.dc.gov/finalplan. For information on Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC initiative, visit www.sustainable.dc.gov.