Heralded with making thoughtful choices that show exceptional dedication to improving air quality in the Sacramento region, the Sacramento County Department of Waste Management and Recycling (WMR), as well as Sacramento County’s Sustainability Manager Judy Robinson were recognized by BREATHE California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails at their 39th annual Clean Air Awards luncheon.
Paul Philleo, WMR director said, “Our department keeps environmental stewardship at the forefront and is constantly improving and evolving its sustainable practices to not only keep up, but to also set an example in California that it can be done, no matter the task.”
The Blue Ribbon Panel acknowledged WMR for their 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by converting its 102 collection vehicles and tractor trailers to run on a mix of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Additionally, WMR has cut more than 2,000 hours of 2 cycle gas trimmer use, and instead is using 1,000 sheep and goats to reduce vegetation at Kiefer Landfill. The exhaust of these inefficient trimmers can emit up to 50% as unburned hydrocarbons, which play a principal role in complex chemical reactions that contribute to lower-level ozone and smog.
The County’s Solid Waste Planner David Ghirardelli, said, “The grazing project is considerably cheaper and more environmentally responsible than using traditional gas powered, 2-cycle, 2HP engine trimmers. The sheep and goats constantly graze and do produce small amounts of methane gas, but it’s still much lower than using traditional methods to cut down the weeds.”
Philleo, reflecting on his department and the award, also shared that he will continue to encourage all of his staff to be creative in contributing solutions to further reduce the County’s carbon footprint.
BREATHE California 2015 Awards Videos: Sustainability - Department of Waste Management and Recycling; and Leadership - Judy Robinson.
Also given a BREATHE California Award for her leadership was Judy Robinson, Sacramento County Sustainability Manager. Throughout her career she has worked to improve health and the quality of the built environment for residents and communities in Sacramento County. From planning to implementation, her projects have removed thousands of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, created innovative and sustainable design solutions for improved health and livability.
Robinson said, “I am honored to receive this Clean Air Award. Making well-designed sustainable spaces like the Freedom Park Drive Sustainable Street Project, as well as advancing healthy community policies that promotes walking, biking and tree planting – ultimately reducing greenhouse gases – are critical to the health of our residents, communities and air quality.”
Stated in the Clean Air Award program, where information about the presenters and award winners can be found, the luncheon was a zero-waste event as all pre and post-consumer organic food waste created at the locally sourced lunch was collected and sent to a Bio-Digester to create renewable fuel.