Certified Platinum Green Communities

City of Decatur

Recertified December 2014

In 2010, the City of Decatur was one of the first communities to be certified as a Green Community.  The city reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2014, when it recertified as a Green Community at the Platinum level - the first local government to do so. The city’s Sustainability Policy, adopted in April of 2009, formalized many of the Green Communities measures already in place throughout the city. Policies include purchasing of green products, a green fleet policy, green building standards and more. Recycling is available at all city facilities and employees must sign the Lights Out/Power Down policy and the No-Idling pledge. Decatur has conducted energy audits on 100 percent of its facilities. As a result of the audits, many buildings have been renovated to LEED standards. In addition, most city buildings have been entered into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager utility tracking system. Fire Station #2 is LEED silver certified and uses 25 percent less water and 35 percent less energy than a standard building of the same size. Educational materials throughout the building explain the benefits of its many sustainable features, including LED lights, a cool roof and solar panels. The city has a notable Safe Routes to School Program that is a partnership between the schools and the city to encourage elementary and middle school children to walk and bicycle to school and to make the trips to school safer. The city completed a Community Forest Master Plan and Street Tree Canopy Assessment as a first step towards pursuing a maintenance program for sustaining Decatur’s community forests. As a result of plan recommendations, the city hired a full-time arborist and updated its tree ordinance.Other sustainable measures adopted by the City are a Pay-As-You-Throw program for trash disposal, a comprehensive residential recycling program and a Health Impact Assessment incorporated into the transportation plan. In 2012, the city adopted the Decatur Grows Greener Environmental Sustainability Plan after extensive community input. The plan outlines 12 goals and several strategies that city should take to deepen its commitment to serving as good stewards of the environment and community resources.

Description of Decatur's sustainability measures (pdf)

City of Norcross

Upgraded December 2016

The City of Norcross became a Platinum Green Community in 2016 after being recertified as a Gold Green Community in 2015. With commitment and support from the Sustainable Norcross Commission, the city continues to transform its practices across all departments. Norcross requires new city-owned buildings to achieve LEED certification and has adopted policies addressing anti-idling and green fleets. Unique to Norcross is its closed loop processing of residential yard debris. Yard trimmings are collected and turned into compost, mulch and soil products, which are sold to the city, local businesses and residents. Norcross replaced decorative lighting downtown with LED lights and installed photocells for dusk to dawn operation. This action, along with use of LED lights for the city’s Christmas tree, has saved 57,000 kWh, for a cost savings of $6,400 annually. The parks master plan adopted in 2011 includes natural areas, open spaces and greenways that increase connectivity of greenspace. All residents of the city live within a ½ mile radius of a publically accessible park or greenspace. Norcross provides a variety of greenspaces from passive open areas, to sports fields, to centrally located parks suitable for community events. Norcross is using innovative ways to capture excess stormwater, including the construction of a large rain garden beside City Hall. Bioswales have been installed along Thrasher Street, lending a natural touch between the road and residences. The city has maintained the character of its historic downtown by purchasing and rehabilitating several vacant or abandoned buildings. Norcross creatively reuses materials for artistic purposes through several initiatives. The ReImagine! exhibition combines recycling and environmental awareness through the creative re-use of materials into innovative, thought-provoking sculptures.

Description of Norcross' sustainability measures (pdf)

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