When it comes to protecting our environment, Ann Arbor has earned a proud reputation as a progressive leader. While we can be proud of that history, now more than ever, we must continue to set an example for our region, our state, and our nation.
In Ann Arbor, 70% of our energy comes from coal and other fossil fuels, all of which are sourced elsewhere and come with clear environmental repercussions. Investing in renewable energy will keep our air and water clean, mitigate the negative effects of climate change, and keep money right here in our community. It’s time to prove sustainable energy policy is smart economic policy. I will work to:
- Fight to remove property tax assessments for solar panel installation.
- Support Ann Arbor’s PACE program, which provides local, public-private financing for energy efficient commercial retrofits.
- Develop programs like community solar to allow residents to work together to invest in local renewable energy.
- Incentive builders to develop more water- and energy-efficient designs.
- Incentivize landlords to invest in energy efficient appliances, reducing recurring costs for property owners and renters.
- Explore merging the Environmental and Energy Commissions to provide for more efficient collaboration between the Commission, City Council, City Staff, and residents.
We’re all concerned by the threat the Gelman Plume poses to our drinking water. In 2016, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued an emergency rule, creating a much stricter corporate cleanup standard. The City of Ann Arbor has joined suit with Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan to push for faster and stronger cleanup of the 1,4 Dioxane that threatens all of us. We need to dedicate every resource we can toward a favorable and just settlement.
Recycling & Compost
The vast majority of our trash is not trash. Since 1970, Ann Arbor has been a clear municipal leader in ensuring recyclables and compostables stay out of our landfills. However, in the last year, a series of fires have shut down our local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), or recycling center. As of now, we ship our recyclable materials down to Ohio for processing. To get back on the right track, we must:
- Restore permanent, reliable, and local service to our MRF.
- Ensure glass, plastic, and paper that residents put in their recycling bin is recycled in full.
- Expand compost pickup to restaurants and the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
- Extend residential compost pick up year round.