Living Green in Whiting
The City of Whiting’s “Green Initiatives” help improve the environment and reduce the cost of waste disposal. Click the tabs to read about Whiting’s efforts in recycling, energy conservation, water conservation, vehicle use/fuel conservation, and alternative energy, as well as what you can do to live greener.
Whiting was named the 2010 IACT Green Community of the Year for municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less. View the associated press release by clicking here.
- NEW: Whiting’s Alley Recycling Program
- NEW: 2014 Earth Day
- NEW: Kindergarten 3 R’s
- Household Waste
- Recycle Stations
- Electronics Recycling
- 4 R’s
- Battery Recycling
- Cafeteria Recycling
- Don’t Litter
- Join Globy
The City’s recycling program is a single stream collection system, which allows the City to pick up co-mingled recyclables with a designated packer (garbage truck). 65-gallon rolling carts allow easy recycling of paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum, plastic, and glass. View a video of a Single Stream Recycling operation very similar to our disposal firm’s operation by clicking here.
Recycling Centers in Whiting:
- Obsolete Electronics – Whiting City Garage, 1915 Front Street
- Household Batteries (alkaline, nickel-cad, lithium, etc.) – Whiting City Hall, 1443 119th Street
- Used Printer Toner and Ink Jet Cartridges – Whiting City Hall, 1443 119th Street
- General Recycling Drop Off Center – Strack & Van Til, 1836 Calumet Avenue
- Instead of throwing electronics in the garbage, please recycle at the Whiting City Garage, 1915 Front St., 219-659-1219. Most electronics (i.e. computers & parts, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, microwaves, cell phones and more), can be recycled. More info here.
- Place paper (i.e. newspapers, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, phone books, computer paper) loose in recycling cart or brown paper bag.
- For cardboard materials, please remove all Styrofoam & non-cardboard packing material before recycling. These materials are not currently accepted by our recycling firm and should be discarded with the regular trash. Accepted materials include corrugated shipping boxes, pop & beer cases, cereal & food boxes, paper towel & toilet tissue core tubes, gift boxes. After any Styrofoam is removed, flatten and place in or beside recycling cart.
- Labels can be left on cans & bottles; please remove caps, rinse and flatten. Place tin/aluminum (i.e. aluminum, bimetal & tin cans, pie tins), plastic (i.e. 2-liters, soda & Gatorade bottles, milk jugs), and glass (i.e. clear/brown/green glass bottles & jars) loose in recycling cart.
- Please do not use plastic grocery bags or plastic garbage bags.
- Recycle Indiana (in.gov)
- Lake County Solid Waste Management District
- Green Living: Why Is Recycling Important?
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- A Recycling Revolution
- Indiana Recycling Coalition
- Buy Recycled Products (Online Catalog)
- TerraCycle Recycled Products
- Busch Systems: Recycling Bins & Containers
- Indiana Living Green
The City has taken several steps to reduce its energy costs, saving a projected $28,000 per year in utility expenses after the implementation of a 2009 Energy Efficiency Project. The scope of this project included analyzing our current facilities and identifying the areas where the energy could be saved. Most of the improvements came in the area of lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
You can see a detailed breakdown here.
We are currently also implementing a program to retrofit all of the City’s ornamental street lights with new LED fixtures. This technology is relatively new for street lights, but estimates project that our lighting costs can be reduced by over 50% after each light is converted. The City is currently budgeting $25,000 annually to install the LED fixtures and over the next 7 years expect to have all of the lights converted to these highly energy efficient lighting fixtures. All future lighting projects specifications will also require LED fixtures.
- Unplug seldom-used appliances
- Unplug chargers when you’re not charging something
- Use power strips to switch off TVs, home theater equipment, and stereos when you’re not using them
- Use Sleep Mode on your computer during periods of inactivity.
- Set your computer to Hibernate after 30 minutes of inactivity.
- Shut down your computer when you’re done for the day.
- Don’t over-light. Instead of turning on all the lights in a room, only use the ones in the area where you’ll be working in.
- Switch to fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs are available to fit most fixtures, and provide more light while using less energy.
- Don’t forget to flip the switch when you leave a room.
- In winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees or less during the daytime, and 55 degrees when you’re away. Also, leave shades/blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night.
- In summer, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or more all day long. Also, keep shades/blinds closed, especially when the air conditioner is in use or will be in use later in the day.
- Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120-130 degrees.
- Energizing Indiana: Energy Efficiency Grants and Programs
- Appliance Help: Energy Savings Tips for Appliances
- Energy Star: Energy Efficient Products and Practices
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Resnet: Residential Energy Services Network
- Prepare Now: Cut Down On Your Natural Gas Bill
- Ways to Cut Energy Costs (Industrial & Commercial)
- U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Department of Energy – Tips
- Wikipedia: Energy Conservation
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): Energy Conservation
- Earth 911: Energy Costs & Conservation Facts
- Indiana Living Green
- Way of Living Green and Green Living
- Retrofit Your Home
- Recurve: Home Energy Audits and Green Energy Remodeling
- EPA’s Green Building web site
- NIPSCO’s Energy Conservation web site
The City of Whiting Utilities Department has implemented a plan to aggressively replace older water distribution piping throughout the city. Ensuring the integrity of these underground systems will minimize water losses due to leakage. The department has also implemented a systematic meter replacement program to ensure that all utility meters are functioning properly. Maintaining accurate meters allows for an accurate analysis of our system’s “water balance” which can help identify water losses throughout the system.
Programs to help our residents and water customers reduce their personal consumption are also being considered. Ensuring our water streams remain clean is also an important part of our “Green Initiative” Program. Please review the related tips by clicking on the “What You Can Do” link at the top of the page.
Both the new Standard Diamonds Baseball Stadium and the new Municipal Sports Complex on 117th Street will utilize well water irrigation systems. These new wells will be used to water and maintain the field surfaces while reducing the use of thousands of gallons of treated lake water each year. Not only will these systems reduce the cost of operation, but they are an environmentally sound practice as well.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks
- Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
- Insulate your water pipes.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
- Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
- Don’t water the gutter
- Water your lawn only when it needs it
- Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns.
- Don’t run the hose while washing your car
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
- Use chemicals with care – keep them out of thes sewer system and drains
Whiting’s awareness to become “more green” encourages continued reduction in air pollutants. Effective March 1, 2010, we enacted a new Vehicle Idling Policy intended to address three issues facing the City of Whiting — air pollution, vehicle fuel expense, and vehicle service life. This policy is adhered to by City of Whiting employees, who can play an important role in improving air quality, reducing fuel expense and extending a vehicles life-span by limiting the amount of time engines are allowed to idle. You may read more about the City’s policy here.
The City has also implemented a new fuel monitoring system to track all vehicle fuel consumption. The new system not only prevents inappropriate fuel usage, but it also helps identify poorly operating vehicles that are wasting fuel.
The City has also implemented a new vehicle purchasing strategy that will add more alternate and flex fuels to our municipal fleet. E-85 squad cars and more fuel efficient pick-up trucks have been already been purchased. In October of 2010, the City installed a new E-85 fueling station at the City Garage on Front Street. This new fueling station will now provide E-85 capable vehicles a consistent and reliable supply of the E-85 alternate fuel. Hybrid trucks are also now being considered.
The City has established two vehicle charging stations within the park for public use. Read the first summary report illustrating use and fuel savings here.
- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas.
- Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
- Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
- Use overdrive gears. When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
- Combine errands into one trip.
- Avoid rush hour.
- Keep your engine properly tuned.
- Keep tires properly inflated. This can improve your gas mileage by around 3 percent.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 10 percent.
- Carpool and/or take public transportation.
- If you commute, stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours.
- Choose a more fuel efficient vehicle: Use www.fueleconomy.gov to simplify your decision. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG is almost $1,000 per year (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $3.96)
- Refuel when it’s cool – Refueling during cooler periods of the day will minimize gas fumes from entering the air.
- Don’t top off your tank – Doing so releases fumes to the air.
Whiting is currently reviewing multiple alternative energy projects for various facilities across the City. Wind turbines are being considered to power the Detention Basin operation and the adjacent Lakefront Park Development. The effectiveness of using heat pumps for some facilities is also being considered. We will post additional projects and updates as they become available.
- Start small. Here are portable solar-powered laptop chargers.
- If you are looking for a new car, purchase an electric or hybrid. “Flex Fuel” vehicles run on E85 at your regular gas stations (85% ethanol, made from corn, and 15% gasoline), so it’s not only CHEAPER but also better for the environment.
- Install solar panels on your home or business. Check the yellow pages for installers or even DIY… for a few hundred bucks you can build your own solar-powered heater or power generator. There are numerous simple, cost-effective ways to do solar panels for your home here.
- Take a minute to call your local electric company: more than 750 of those in the U.S. offer renewable energy to current consumers to help you get started with solar panels, windmills, and ground source heat pumps.
- Purdue University: Renewable Energy
- How To Go Green: Alternative Energy
- Energy Refuge: News, Articles & Tips
- Alternative Energy News
- Alternative Energy: Your Best Resource For Alternative Energy Information
- Top 10 Renewable Energy Sources
- Indiana Living Green
- Way of Living Green and Green Living