Stamford, CT, is a coastal community that has approximately 122,000 citizens and is 37.7 square miles in size. It is located 25 miles northeast of New York City. Sustainable Stamford is the mayor’s task force on sustainability, established in 2007. In October of that year, then-mayor Dan Malloy announced the goals of the group, including the new Energy Improvement District ordinance, a clean energy campaign, solid waste and recycling goals and vehicle fleet efficiency measures.Sustainable Stamford The mission of Sustainable Stamford is to promote energy efficiency, environmental education, waste reduction and recycling, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, green buildings and all efforts affecting sustainability in Stamford. Some results of the program:
  • LEED ordinance for city buildings. An ordinance was adopted in 2007 requiring that all city buildings over 5,000 square feet to achieve the LEED Silver certification level.
  • The “One Bin, All In” campaign. A citywide single-stream recycling program, the “One Bin, All In” campaign, was launched in July 2009. In addition to newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastic containers and bottles and cans, the list of recyclable materials now includes paperboard, books (paperback and hardback), plastic caps and lids, phone books, shredded paper, Pyrex glass, window glass, plastic bags and many other items that recycling programs normally don’t accept. For the complete list of items, see the City of Stamford’s recycling brochure.
  • Recycling push at city parks and field. The city placed single-stream recycling toters at Stamford beaches, parks and ball fields to boost recycling at these venues. The toters were placed in and around the 56 parks and fields in the area, replacing more than 90% of the garbage cans with recycling bins. “Recycling isn’t just something we can do at home,” said Dan Colleluori, Stamford’s supervisor of solid waste and recycling. “People who are walking at Cove Island [a shoreline park overlooking Long Island Sound] or playing softball at Scalzi [a downtown park] can all do their part to help the environment and boost our recycling efforts. Diverting goods into the recycling toters saves the city money, plus the recycling brings in some revenue as well.”
  • Corporate sustainability challenge. Sustainable Stamford and the Building Owners and Managers Association will officially announce the Corporate Sustainability Challenge to the business community this fall. Small, medium and large corporate building owners and managers will be invited to benchmark their energy and water usage and to adopt sustainability policies.
Stamford is a beautiful city in a lovely area of the country. Thanks to some sustainability-minded city leaders, future generations will enjoy a city that surely will reap the benefits of progressive environmental thinking. Stamford’s next-door neighbor, Greenwich, likes to keep it green, too.