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‘Going green’ saves money, report shows

November 23rd, 2005


JCPS School Superintendent Stephen Daeschner, U of L President James Ramsey and Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson discuss the savings of the Partnership for a Green City. Combined purchase of paper is one initiative that will boost use of recycled paper and save money.

Can people in the Louisville Metro area “go green” and save money at the same time?

Yes, say members of the Partnership for a Green City, an initiative launched last year by Louisville Metro government, Jefferson County Public Schools and the University of Louisville to protect the environment and improve overall quality of life in the community.

The partnership already has made significant strides toward meeting its goals, according to its first annual report released on Nov. 22. Among the accomplishments so far:

The three partners also are leveraging their buying power by bidding on big-ticket items together, said Russ Barnett of U of L’s Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development, which is helping administer the program with a U.S. Department of Education grant.

Louisville Metro government, JCPS and U of L bought more than 450,000 reams of paper last year at a combined cost of nearly $1 million, Barnett said. This year, they have teamed up to buy paper together, a move expected to boost their use of recycled paper and trim thousands of dollars in costs.

U of L’s residence hall recycling program, which began one year ago, is another good example of how “going green” can pay off, said U of L President James Ramsey.

“Today, each ton of material we are recycling from our dorms is saving us $8,000 a year in disposal costs,” he said.

In another partnership project, the university is helping tackle environmental health problems in the community. U of L’s School of Public Health and Jefferson County Public Schools have teamed up to create a new joint post aimed at improving local immunization rates. U of L faculty veteran Ruth Carrico has been hired to fill it.

“Nearly 50 university employees have worked diligently on this project over the last year and it’s been time well spent,” Ramsey said.

Video Story: Partnership for a Green City

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