Sustainable City Network Website Offers News & Advice on Sustainable Practices

The Sustainable City Network is a private company and website that provides county and municipal officials with information on sustainable products and best practices.  The company launched its website in 2010 and seeks to provide a forum where government officials, academics, and vendors can interact with one another and learn about sustainability issues.

The website also publishes articles relating to sustainability in a series of “channels” that cover:  (1) building/housing; (2) energy; (3) environment; (4) finance; (5) local foods; (6) policy; (7) solid waste; (8) transportation; and (9) water.  For example, a September 19 article discusses the efforts of Austin, Texas, and other cities to reuse waste glass, which is often challenging to recycle.

In Austin, where residents and businesses throw away 50,000 tons of glass annually, it’s no small issue. In one composite study, glass by weight made up a quarter of the city’s waste going to the landfill – higher than the U.S. average of 12 to 15 percent. That’s just one of the challenges the city faces with an ambitious plan to divert 90 percent of its waste from the landfill by 2040.

Keri Burchard-Juarez, Austin’s assistant director for engineering and capital project delivery, and Steven Penshorn, supervising engineer for quality and standards management, presented their findings at the American Public Works Association’s recent International Public Works Congress and Exposition in Anaheim.  …

The department has substituted ground glass cullet for aggregate in public works projects, using a glass crushing machine to produce consistencies as coarse as pebbles or as fine as sand, Burchard-Juarez said.

Austin’s public works department has opted for simpler applications, including landscape mulch for walking trails, drainage media for pervious pavements, backfill for a retaining wall, and bedding material under sidewalks and small-diameter water and service lines.

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