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Public Works Department a Green Business

The City of Alameda Public Works Department has been recognized as a green "business."

The City of Alameda Public Works Department has been recognized as a green “business.”

As of June 23rd, all three of the City of Alameda Public Works Department’s main facilities were certified “green” by the California Green Business Program.

According to the State of California’s website, “the California Green Business Program is a network of local governments working with [the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control] to help companies make the switch to green business practices. Businesses earn a seal of certification from their local city or county by meeting rigorous criteria established by the California Green Business Program.”

As such, the certification is somewhat self-referential; and the State website is not entirely clear on the certification process.

Kerry Parker, a public works program specialist with the City of Alameda, is also, according to a press release about public works’ achievement, a recycling expert who inspects green businesses in Alameda for compliance with the same program.

Nonetheless, city officials say that the latest efforts in conservation include installing low-flow toilets, using recycled paper for both bath tissue and paper towels, and printing on both sides of copy paper.

According to the press release, by switching to recycled toilet paper and janitorial paper towels, the Public Works Department has saved $1,500 per year.

By having printers default to double-sided, Public Works reduced its paper usage and saw copy paper expenses drop 37 percent.

To meet Green Business Certification requirements, the Public Works Department also replaced existing toilets at its three facilities with 1.28 gallons-per-flush toilets and put aerators on all faucets. Water use plummeted at these facilities by more than 40% from usage in 2011.

City officials also say that all eight vendors in the Alameda Marketplace have been certified as green businesses as well.

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