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Environment

“It’s been a priority for us to decrease our community’s carbon footprint, increasing our energy efficiency and making Somerville a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable place to live, to work, or just to play.”  ~ Joe Curtatone


 

Joe On The Record:

Making the green choice the easy choice | by Joe Curtatone, Somerville News (Op-Ed), 8/15/2013

Protecting the environment and making your daily life easier do not have to be in conflict. As more and more people realize the importance of being green, making environmentally friendly choices is becoming simpler and more accessible. It’s that last part, accessibility, where government can step in and make the green choice the easy choice. 

Until recently the city only accepted household electronics for recycling at special drop-off events a couple of times per year. While TVs and computer monitors could be placed curbside on trash day, getting rid of old laptops, VCRs or DVD players, keyboards, telephones, printers and even small appliances like blenders or toasters meant finding a place in your home to set these items aside until the next hazardous waste event rolled around—or worse, just tossing them away in the trash. No more. Now residents can recycle these items any weekday by dropping them off at the DPW Yard at 1 Franey Road. ...  

We know that it’s all part of the same story. It is why I established the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) in 2006, to ensure that the city identifies opportunities to be both environmentally responsible as well as to benefit from cost savings and that we take full advantage of them. Because when we make the green choice the easy choice, it’s gentler on the environment and gentler on taxpayers’ wallets.

 

Somerville adopts energy stretch code | by The News Staff, Somerville News, 6/17/2011

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has signed a change to Somerville’s building code that will require a 20% higher energy efficiency standard for new construction. Called a stretch code, the policy is designed to reduce energy and heating costs, saving money for residents in the long run as well as reducing the city’s overall carbon footprint. Approved unanimously by the Board of Aldermen at its June 9th meeting, the stretch code has been adopted by 85 other municipalities in Massachusetts and is quickly becoming the standard in this region.

“With all of the new construction we anticipate in Somerville during the next decade as mass transit returns to most of our city, this move toward energy efficiency will have a major impact in terms of reducing energy costs and in environmental protection,” Curtatone said. “It is a sensible and necessary change that reflects the kind of environmental pragmatism we all need to embrace in these times of rapid climate change.” 

 

Going green in Somerville to save greenbacks, Somerville launches sustainability program | by Elizabeth Sheeran, Somerville News, 11/3/2010

“It’s been a priority for us to decrease our community’s carbon footprint, increasing our energy efficiency and making Somerville a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable place to live, to work, or just to play,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone. “The combination of facility improvements and the Act! Earth initiative ensures we can improve our facilities while also reducing carbon emissions, and with no additional cost to taxpayers.”

The Mayor said Act! Earth, which kicked off at a community fair at Somerville High School on October 28, is the critical next step in Somerville’s $7.8 million, 20-year sustainability agreement with Honeywell Corporation, which is guaranteeing the targeted savings to the city. 

 

Moving Somerville forward: investing in our parks | by Joe Curtatone, Somerville News (Op-Ed), 3/31/2008

The last three years have seen the renovation or creation of eleven parks and community gardens throughout our city including last year’s opening of the renovated Perry Park and several community gardens. The new Open Space and Recreation Plan will serve as a comprehensive vision for the future of our parks and open space. It will include goals for renovating and expanding existing parks as well as identifying and acquiring new land to be used as open space. It will also outline our goals for increasing handicap access and building “greener,” more sustainable parks. …

Somerville is home to a diverse and dynamic community and our parks and open space must reflect that diversity. It is essential that the community guides the city’s vision for the future of our parks. That is why the Parks and Open Space Department is holding a series of meetings across the city to educate residents about the plan, to solicit feedback on the future of our open space and, finally, to review the eventual draft plan. …

Open space is essential to the health and well-being of everyone who works, lives and plays in Somerville. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a vibrant, dedicated community with a shared vision of moving our city forward.