The city of Marietta is continuing its energy-saving efforts to protect the environment through many initiatives citywide.
Marietta is replacing thousands of lights, ballasts and fixtures throughout city facilities to energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. The city is changing all EXIT signs in city-owned buildings to energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) fixtures. The city recently changed all the lamps in the hallways and court room of the Public Safety building to high energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.
Marietta is putting timers and photo cells in city parks to reduce the energy consumption of existing lights. The city's Traffic Operations Division is replacing all traffic lights in the city to LEDs, which require less electricity to operate.
Marietta's Fleet Division is using a biodiesel blend in 90 percent of the city's diesel vehicles and hopes to purchase at least one hybrid vehicle the next fiscal year. The city also has several natural gas vehicles in its fleet.
Marietta is using five 330-gallon tanks to capture rain from the rooftops of city buildings to water the city's plants and trees. The city has captured approximately 1,320 gallons and will be purchasing additional tanks.
The city is researching xeriscape, which helps improve landscapes and reduce the need for water, maintenance and other resources. With xeriscape, if the drought continues, the city can reduce outdoor water use by as much as 50 percent for landscaping.
Marietta Power and Water are offering customers energy and water conservation audits, and Marietta residents can also perform self audits online. Marietta Water offers rebates for installing more efficient toilets to encourage water conservation.
Heating and air conditioning
Marietta is replacing parts of the city's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with new energy-efficient parts, at no cost to the taxpayers, which will give the city the capability to change to a fully automated system within five years.
Green Community Certification
Marietta is working to become one of the first cities in the area to earn Green Community Certification from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). The certification fosters a more sustainable region by recognizing local governments that invest in programs that promote energy efficiency, green building, water conservation and pollution prevention, greenspace protection, recycling, emissions reduction, better land use practices and environmental education and outreach programs.
"Communities around the region are already implementing ways to use fewer resources and be more sustainable," ARC Chairman Sam Olens said. "This program will spotlight best-in-class examples, encourage further innovation in sustainability and salute those cities and counties that make environmental stewardship a priority."
Marietta's recycling program has helped the city meet state requirements for how much waste the city takes to landfills. Marietta picks up household recycling once a week, and items can be mixed, eliminating the need for residents to sort through glass, plastic and other types of recyclables.
The city has implemented recycling for special events on the Marietta Square and is conducting a pilot recycling project for businesses there.
Marietta's Public Works Department also picks up yard trimmings and limbs from homeowners for composting weekly.
City's trees help clean the air
Trees in our city help clean the air, conserve soil and water, and regulate temperature
The National Arbor Day Foundation named Marietta a Tree City USA community to honor the city's commitment to community forestry. Marietta has received the national recognition for 24 years.
Establishing good and continuous tree coverage and canopy is a goal City Council established as part of Marietta's vision statement, and the city's tree protection and landscaping ordinance helps preserve and/or replace trees as part of the land development process.
Housing developments promote walking, less traffic
Mixed use developments often consist of residential buildings combined with restaurants, shops and businesses. Residents and customers of mixed-use developments can walk to their destinations, which results in fewer cars on the roads, less exhaust emissions and a cleaner, safer environment.
Marietta's revitalization includes mixed-use designs, a goal City Council established as part of Marietta's vision statement.
Marietta Power and Water Conservation
Marietta Power and Water adopted a Drought Management Plan based on mandates set by the State of Georgia consistent with Cobb County's outdoor water use restrictions.
A conservation price rate schedule has been adopted for residential customers designed to reduce discretionary consumption. Declining price blocks in the commercial-industrial sector have been eliminated.
Staff is available to educate the public on conservation tips and programs that exist, including rebates for changing out older high-flow toilets to approved low-flow toilets.
Water conservation audits are also planned for customers to use, and an audit for the BLW's Partner-in-Education school, Park Street Elementary, has been completed to help them locate ways to conserve water and reach their target water usage. Audits are being planned for all Marietta schools to help them in their conservation efforts.