Sustainability Committee, July 11, 2019

August 20th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

The agenda for the meeting is available here:

The audio for the meeting is available here:

Members Present: Council member and chair Julianna Johnston Senturia; Council members Sean Malone and Anne Williams; citizen members Julianne Potter, Carmen Franks, and Norman Robbins

Others present: Mayor David Weiss; Chief Administrative Officer Jeri Chaikin; Sustainability Coordinator Michael Peters; Daniel Brown and Zoe Apestar of Rust Belt Riders

Ms. Senturia called the meeting to order at 7:31 a.m. and adjourned at 8:28 a.m.

The minutes of the June 13, 2019, committee meeting were approved and are available here:

Rust Belt Riders: Two representatives of Rust Belt Riders (RBR), Daniel Brown and Zoe Apestar, spoke about their program and the potential for a partnership with the city. Rust Belt Riders is a composting program that provides composting service to around 150 companies in Northeast Ohio. They are thinking about launching a residential program to regularly collect residents’ compost (but also has drop-off locations), which is then transformed into soil that one can buy at a discounted price. At the Nature Center, RBR put out bins where residents could drop off their compost, and 35 people had used it in the past month. Mr. Peters explained that commercial composting can take products that residents cannot compost on their own. If RBR partnered with the city, residents would receive buckets to put their compost in, and the buckets are picked up and replaced once a week at the expected cost of $20/month. It will cost likely $5 for residents to use the drop-off locations. It is also possible that the city would subsidize the program if it is shown to reduce the amount of waste the city would otherwise have to handle.

Subcommittees: Mr. Peters expressed his desire for the subcommittees to regularly report on their matters. Most subcommittees had not met yet. The Renewable Energy committee, led by Norman Robbins, discussed with the school system their interest in the country’s solar panel program. The school system explained that they have a lot on their plate this year, and may not focus on solar panels.

Streetlights: Mr. Peters explained that over 60[MG1]  percent of the city’s energy is used in streetlights, and that a vendor could collect data on this energy usage. In order to decrease energy usage, cities like Lakewood are retrofitting their streetlights with LED lights, while others are updating the entire fixture to provide capabilities like dimming, motion sensors, cameras, and gun-shot detection. The payback period for replacing the bulb would be two years.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Mr. Peters introduced an idle management option for city vehicles, the payback period for police vehicles being four months; he also mentioned a potential study to determine which vehicles would be easily replaced with electric vehicles. The city’s Green Team was formed (first meeting, July 14).

Solar Power: Mr. Peters explained that applications were prepared for the initial analysis of two city-owned buildings to determine their suitability for the County’s Local Government and Non-Profit Solar Co-op Program.

LEED for Cities: Data collection for the LEED program is ongoing, mainly because the city is waiting on other companies for data. Seven city staff members will form the LEED Advisory Team to advise the city on which areas of sustainability it should focus most on. After the U.S. Green Building Council’s ARC platform updated the point system for smaller cities, Shaker Heights gained 16 additional points (towards the goal of 40).

Ryan Brady, observer


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