Sioux Falls recyclingSioux Falls, SD, is a beautiful city that takes sustainability very seriously. To that end, the City of Sioux Falls Leading Green Initiative and Sustainability Program was established in 2008. According to the City of Sioux Falls Public Works, the mission of the Sustainability Program is to serve as a “guiding program that creates a more sustainable community now and in the future by proposing and assisting with the implementation of measurable solutions to environmental, social and economic concerns.” The programs focus is broken into four categories:
  • Reducing energy consumption while improving air quality
    • All city departments have efforts underway to help with energy efficiency, including the Sioux Area Metro Transit System. The water reclamation plant operates a Global Electric Motorcar to patrol the property and the city maintains an extensive bike trail system. The city is also addressing air quality issues through non-energy-related topics like radon and asbestos.
  • Managing land use
    • Proper land use is a priority for the City of Sioux Falls. One of the planning office’s goals is to improve the sustainability of the community as the population continues to grow. The Parks and Recreation Department offers tips on sustainable lawn care and composting, along with numerous other resources.
  • Increasing recycling rates
    • In Sioux Falls, it is mandatory for all businesses and residential units, including apartments, to recycle items such as plastics, metal containers, paper and cardboard.
  • Conserving water
    • The City of Sioux Falls is committed to water conservation and the careful management of the Big Sioux River Basin. The City of Sioux Falls Water Reclamation Plant is rated to treat a maximum of 21 million gallons a day. The mission statement is to “Protect Public Health and the Environment by collecting and treating wastewater in a safe, reliable, ethical, cost-effective, and customer-friendly manner in accordance with all state and federal regulations.”
One of the things the Sustainability Program does each year is put out the City of Sioux Falls Residential Guide to Sustainability. This guide is an excellent resource that has information about everything from recycling and composting programs and household hazardous waste information, to community gardens and farmers markets. It’s a comprehensive guide for all things sustainable within Sioux Falls. For example, in the section about recycling, the guide breaks down what can and cannot be recycled within the city program. In an effort to make Sioux Falls more sustainable, a city ordinance has banned certain materials from being disposed of as waste in the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill. It also gives tips about how to reduce and reuse items.