El Paso Street has roofs in its road

You may have noticed that El Paso Street is riding pretty good these days. What you may not have noticed are the 60 tons of recycled rooftop asphalt shingles that you're riding over. The shingles have been cleaned, ground up, screened and mixed into asphalt binder to replace virgin material. From Uintah Street to Templeton Gap Road the City and Pikes Peak Rural transportation Authority (PPRTA) have used a mix of 2 to 5 percent Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS) material as part of a street maintenance overlay project. It's a test to help City staff determine if the cost and environmental benefits will be validated by the high performance needed to stand up to Colorado freeze-thaw cycles. A few states around the nation have been using RAS for more than a decade, but the first Colorado project was pioneered by Boulder County in 2008. Since then, a handful of Colorado communities, and the Colorado Department of Transportation, have begun pilots using the material. Private property owners are also using RAS locally in parking lot and driveway projects. The shingles are collected from roofers (non-asbestos only) and processed by several new, local companies. It's a great example of how recycling can create new business opportunities and positive environmental impacts such as landfill diversion and CO2 reduction.

What If... everyone recycled?

The What If...?! Festival of Innovation and Imagination is returning for its second year on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 to downtown Colorado Springs. After the hugely successful inaugural festival, organizers are again anticipating festival-goers of all ages, from all parts of the region, and a wide-range of backgrounds and experiences. The What If...?! Festival will again highlight and celebrate the Pikes Peak region's tech-enthusiasts, art-makers, garage inventors, do-it-yourselfers, performers, musicians, scientists, mathematicians, culinary magicians, robot builders, urban farmers, student creators, innovators, engineers, and all other thinkers and tinkerers. The City is partnering with Bestway Disposal and the Recycling Coalition of Colorado springs to provide event-goers with an interactive reuse experience. Attendees will turn a shipping container by-product into recycling containers to be used in public facilities throughout Colorado Springs by painting them with re-used water-based paint provided by the El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Site. Not only are the containers made from recycled-content material, but once they are worn out, they can be recycled. It's part of the City's "Art of Recycling" program.

Spirit of the Springs Friday, Sept. 16

Get ready for a fun community pep rally as Mayor Steve Bach officially launches the Mayor's Spirit of the Springs initiative on Friday, Sept.16, from 4-6:30 p.m. on the south lawn of the Pioneers Museum. Interactive activities will abound for kids and the kids-at-heart. Get your photo with the Air Force Academy cheerleaders and mascot (The Bird). Come cheer with District 11 cheerleading squads and one of our local high school marching bands. Dance to tunes on the lawn. Meet local athletes in training for the Olympics. Turn no-longer usable CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs into holiday decorations. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, which will remain open late (6:30 p.m.) for this special event explores Pedal Power: Bicycling in Colorado Springs, which features the first bicycle ever owned by a resident of Colorado Springs. Bring a picnic or purchase refreshments on site or at nearby restaurants - we'll have recycling available!

Colorado Springs Bicycle map now available
Thinking about enjoying the fall foliage by bicycle? Wondering which roads are the most bicycle-friendly? Pick up one of the first ever Colorado Springs bike maps for $7.95 at a local bike shop. The comprehensive bike map shows roads with bike lanes and/or paved shoulders and also color-codes roads without any bike lanes or paved shoulders by volume of motor vehicle traffic. Off-street multi-use trails are included with designations for paved vs. unpaved trails. Any street grade above 6 percent is noted. The map also designates roundabout locations, transit transfer stations, park and ride lots, bike shop locations, police and fire stations, and major destinations, such as schools, colleges, shopping centers, etc. It also includes information on bicycle safety, rules, resources and how to transport your bike on Mountain Metropolitan Transit. Funding to develop the map came from a federal Transportation Enhancements grant and the City's Bicycle Excise Tax, which is an amount collected on the sale of all new bicycles in City limits.  Read More...
What are community solar gardens?
A community solar garden is a local, commercial-size solar-electric facility that allows citizens to participate in solar, without panels on their roof. They allow even those who live in apartments, have tree shade, or don?t want the maintenace to switch to renewable energy. SunShare is working with Colorado Springs Utilities to build Colorado Springs? first solar garden. To find out more, attend an information session on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. at Sonterra Grill, 28B South Tejon St. This free event is open to anyone interested in learning more about solar gardens and a new way to reduce their electric bill with solar energy.
Pikes Peak SDAT invites regional public participation

You"re invited to participate in the American Institute of Architect"s Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) coming to Colorado Springs Sept. 26 - 28, 2011.   The project?s goals are to engage citizens, elected officials, agencies and business leaders to define a Pikes Peak Region sustainable built environment plan that: promotes "complete" and livable communities, realizes greater efficiencies in resources and infrastructure, promotes economic opportunity, raises the quality of life for all citizens, and builds an identity around our unique and magnificent natural environment. The public at large is invited to two community-wide meetings:

         A town hall-style meeting Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Pikes Peak Center Studio B.

         A final public presentation Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Pikes Peak Regional Development Center Public Hearing Room to present findings and recommendations.

A final report will summarize findings, recommendations and propose implementation strategies for a sustainable future for the built environment and creative development in the Pikes Peak Region. Read More...
Design changes to better manage stormwater: Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn Thursday, Sept. 15

The way communities dealt with rain runoff ten or twenty years ago was a lot different than the best management practices of today. Yet, those old criteria persist in the City's current Drainage Criteria Manual, the document that guides stormwater engineering within Colorado Springs. The City is therefore creating a new Drainage Criteria Manual for the first time in decades. The new manual takes a comprehensive view. Rather than attempting to just manage flooding, it considers flood conveyance plus sediment control and wildlife habitat. Ironically, the most successful stormwater systems are now known to be those that preserve, or restore, natural drainage way functions. Attend a free "Green Bag" lunch-n-learn on Sept. 15, 2011 to learn how the proposed changes will better protect these natural systems. The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12: 49 p.m., at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada, in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. Those who come have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from recycled City banners.

Going greener:

Thurs. Sept. 15 - Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn: Design changes to better manage stormwater

Fri. Sept. 16 - Spirit of the Springs 

Mon. Sept. 26 to Wed. Sept. 28 - Sustainable Design Assessment Team Charrette

Thurs. Nov. 17 to Fri. Nov. 18 - Southern Colorado Sustainability Conference

Wed. Sept. 28 - Economic Impacts of Building Efficiency by the PPSBN

Thurs. Sept. 29 - Fill the Shed Event (bicycle donations)   


Environmental Sustainability E-Newsletter from the City of Colorado Springs

Question? (719) 385-CSGN (2746) or cmccausland@springsgov.com. 
This e-newsletter funded by the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and City of Colorado Springs.