12 Cities Leading the Way in Sustainability- Grand Rapids, MI #9

Grand Rapids has gotten so much attention over the last year.  We have been recognized for having one of the best real estate markets, for being a great place to raise a family, and even for our beer.  Here is article citing Grand Rapids as one of the most sustainable cities in the U.S.  We still have a lot of work to do, but Grand Rapids has made vast improvements over the last few years.  Another flattering acknowledgement of GR.  I am so excited to see what the next decade has in store for our city.

In 2011, when The Daily Beast included Grand Rapids in a slideshow of “America’s dying cities,” Mayor George Heartwell responded with an open letter to editor Tina Brown listing the ways in which he says his city is very much alive. Many of Grand Rapids’ accomplishments were related to the city’s sustainability programs: “Would a dying city have more LEED certified buildings per capita (2009) than any other American city?” Heartwell wrote to Brown. “Would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have awarded its Siemens’ Award for America’s most sustainable mid-sized city (2010) to a dying city?” Since then, Heartwell has overseen the launch of a new recycling program that allows Grand Rapids residents to put all recyclables — paper, plastic, cardboard, glass — into a single bin, leaving sorting to the city. The program has increased recycling by 80 percent, and saves the city $100,000 because there is less trash to incinerate.

See the rest of the story at http://billmoyers.com/content/12-cities-leading-the-way-in-sustainability/9/

(Credit: Rachel Kramer/Wikimedia Commons)

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