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Laurene Weste: Santa Clarita: a green community

Live from City Hall

Posted: March 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Did you know that the city of Santa Clarita diverts nearly 68 percent of its waste from local landfills? Over the last 25 years, the city, together with the community and its public-private partners, has created a sound environmental program, dedicated to sustainability, while protecting local resources and the environment.

A few of these efforts include bringing curbside recycling and green-waste services to every city resident, diverting more than half of our community’s solid waste from local landfills, reusing nearly 1 million tires for playground construction and roadway resurfacing projects, replacing 564 lights with energy-efficient bulbs at Santa Clarita facilities, resulting in an annual savings of 386,208 kilowatt hours; and recycling more than 50,450 tons of construction and demolition waste.

From energy efficiency and waste reduction to partnerships, the city of Santa Clarita is dedicated to environmental sustainability. In fact, Santa Clarita was recognized last month as one of four cities to be honored by California Green Communities for its efforts.


Energy efficiency

The city of Santa Clarita’s commitment to clean-energy programs starts with efficiency and conservation of local resources. As a member of the Community Energy Partnership, the city works with Southern California Edison, the Southern California Gas Company, and the Energy Coalition to educate residents about sustainable and energy-saving practices.

Santa Clarita has reduced its energy consumption at various facilities by more than 2 million annual  kilowatt hours, eliminating more than 3 million pounds of greenhouse emissions.

Santa Clarita also offers a variety of incentive programs so residents can save money with energy-reducing programs that help with installing solar panels, purchasing energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, reducing energy usage through home upgrades and much more.


Waste reduction

Managing and reducing waste is a vital part of Santa Clarita’s services. In line with state waste-reduction requirements, the city has exceeded its 50 percent mandate by diverting almost 68 percent of waste from landfills through its curbside and green-waste recycling programs and other diversion programs. Currently, more than 243,000 tons of waste is diverted annually from landfills.

Developing new recycling programs and enhancing existing ones continually helps Santa Clarita exceed annual diversion rates. Programs, such as battery recycling, sharps mail-back program, clothing recycling, bulky-item pick-ups and e-waste recycling assist in recovering valuable resources.

The latest recycling option for residents is the “Super Saver” program. By reducing the size of waste containers, residents can reduce their monthly trash bills by 20 percent.

Additionally, the city regularly holds environmental events for residents to learn how to positively impact the community every day. Activities, such as River Rally, Earth Arbor Day and Bike to Work Week, get residents involved in a fun and educational way.


Santa Clarita’s future

Each of us has an obligation to our families and future generations to lead sustainable lives. Even small changes, such as turning off lights in rooms that aren’t in use, can have an enormous impact on the environment and help save money in the process.

For the latest green information, contact the Environmental Services Division at (661) 286-4098 or visit

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman and can be reached at:


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