FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2015
Contact: Susan Norton
Director of Communications
Fayetteville Receives 2015 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —Today, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Mayor Lioneld Jordan accepted a 2015 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award on behalf of the City of Fayetteville.
The City received a Small City Honorable Mention for its Biosolid Reuse Program. Mayor Jordan declared, “This is big day for Fayetteville! Thank you to everyone for making this happen!” The annual awards program, now in its ninth year, recognizes mayors for innovative programs that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Since 1970 when the mayors of this nation supported the first Earth Day, mayors have been leading the world in showing how to confront our climate challenges,” said Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.
Fayetteville’s Biosolid Reuse Program is one of the many innovative methods used by the City to positively affect climate change:
The City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, looked beyond the normal way of doing business and implemented a new idea by drying its biosolids, becoming one of the first cities to pair solar and thermal drying. The city and its service contractor (CH2M HILL) researched options to meet three primary goals: 1) Reduce operating costs, including hauling and landfill fees; 2) Provide a stable, long-term disposal method; and 3) Make a long-term, positive environmental impact. After considering a variety of options, the city determined that a combination of solar and thermal drying of the wet biosolids would be the best course of action. Benefits of drying biosolids include fewer trips to landfills and a final dried biosolids product available for beneficial reuse through land application or fertilizer production, creating a biosolids fertilizer for sale – bringing in revenue to the city and reducing the quantity and weight of biosolids going to landfills, saving in transportation and landfill fees. On a typical day, 100,000 wet pounds of biosolids are generated from the city’s wastewater treatment plants, requiring more than two trips to the landfills, at a cost of nearly $1 million per year in fuel, labor, landfill fees and equipment costs. To compare, in the first six months of 2010, the wastewater plants sent 499 semi-trailer loads filled with 1,906 tons of wet biosolids to landfills. With the dryers, that number dropped by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2012 – only 233 loads going to landfills with a total of 889 tons, and since then the program has improved and further reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The beneficial reuse product available to farmers and residents helps improve soil nutrients and enriches soil on a long-term basis.
Mayor Jordan and Fayetteville received an Honorable Mention in the Small City category. Other recipients included Jonathan F. Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford (CT), Setti Warren, Mayor of Newton (MA), Kevin McKeown, Mayor of Santa Monica (CA), Laurel Lunt Prussing, and Mayor of Urbana (IL). The Large City Honorable Mentions were awarded to Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin (TX), Marni L. Sawicki, Mayor of Cape Coral (FL), Michael B. Coleman, Mayor of Columbus (OH), Gregory A. Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis, (IN), and Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville (KY).
The two top winners of the 2015 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award were Phoenix, Arizona and Blacksburg, Virginia. Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona received the award for Energize Phoenix, the city’s energy efficiency program that is saving local businesses and residents $12 million every year. Mayor Ron Rordam of Blacksburg, Virginia was recognized for implementing Solarize Blacksburg, a program that other Virginia communities are adopting as a move toward clean energy.
An independent panel of judges selected the winners from a pool of applicants.