As Earth Day nears, MLT sustainability efforts show mixed results

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By Doug Petrowski

With Earth Day, April 22, on the horizon, the City of Mountlake Terrace released an internal study last week of its efforts for conservation and sustainability within city government. The study showed mixed results in various performance measures such as use of resources and materials, educating the public on sustainability strategies and creating “green” mobility options.

The city measures energy and water use at all of its facilities; the city’s electricity use dropped about 2 percent in 2011 from its 2010 level, while water use fell by more than 250,000 gallons — about 4 percent — during the same period. The city also reduced  the amount of fuel used in city vehicles by more than 5 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Mountlake Terrace has not been as successful in reducing paper usage at its various departments. Pages printed topped more than one million in 2011, the highest annual total ever. City officials explained the increase as a result of more in-house printing.

The city uses a sustainability website to educate residents on issues on conservation. The website was visited 6,408 times in 2011, up from 4,438 visits in 2010.

Creating bicycle lanes has been a focus of city officials during recent years; 5,869 feet of bike lanes were established in Mountlake Terrace in 2011, down from 16,160 feet in 2010.

The entire city report can be view here.

To honor Earth Day, city officials are reminding residents of the opportunity to clean city parks and open spaces this Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers are urged to meet at the Terrace Park School parking lot, 5409-228th St. S.W., in comfortable work clothes with gloves and tools. Projects scheduled include raking, shoveling, pruning, washing play equipment and planting trees. An appreciation lunch follows the work party.

The Mountlake Terrace Library, in cooperation with Waste Management Northwest, will be accepting old and unwanted electronics for disposal at the same time. You can find more information on either of these events on the city’s website.

On Sunday, April 22, the Mountlake Terrace Library — in cooperation with Creekside Church — is also hosting a book and clothing swap at 1:30 p.m. Participants are urged to bring unwanted, clean clothing and books in good condition to swap with others; leftover books will be donated to the Friends of the Library, while other items will go to a community charity.

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