(BROWNSTOWN) - The Town of Brownstown has renewed its membership in the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge program.
Dan Goldblatt, public information officer for IDEM Media Relations, says the renewal shows that the town is making strides to becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
CLEAN stands for Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network. The CLEAN Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for local Indiana government entities that make significant commitments to environmental management. CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop and implement a Quality of Life Plan, which focuses on reducing the potential environmental impacts associated with municipal operations and community-wide activities. CLEAN communities are designated for a three-year term.
With Brownstown's renewal, the town will maintain its CLEAN community status for three more years.
As part of the renewal process, Brownstown has established five new environmental goals, including increasing tons of yard waste collected by 50 percent by January 2014, and 10 percent annually thereafter; reducing paper usage by 3 percent in city operations; reducing the number of police ticket books used by 25 percent by January 2016; reducing electricity in city buildings by 5 percent by January 2016; disposing of used polymer and recycle polymer containers appropriately, with the goal of 100 percent recycling rate by January 2014; and preparing a disaster debris management plan for implementation by October 2014.
Brownstown Clerk Treasurer David Willy says the program has helped make recycling efforts in the town more efficient.
"The CLEAN program has been a good way for Brownstown to standardize our efforts to address environmental issues, like recycling," Willy said. "Having a specific program to bring everyone to the table helps us focus on the issues and get things going faster than we would have otherwise."
During Brownstown's previous CLEAN term, the town committed to achieve several environmental goals, including developing standard operating procedures for spill response and training, increasing recycling in town facilities and at town festivals by 20 percent, recycling 100 percent of fluorescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries generated from municipal operations, and addressing winter road maintenance by completing a study to determine the feasibility of using a liquid de-icer to reduce sand usage.
"Brownstown residents and officials can be proud of their community's accomplishments in the CLEAN program," said Thomas Easterly, IDEM commissioner. "Brownstown's continuing commitment to improve the environment and reduce the amount of material heading to landfills is an inspiration to other communities looking to save resources while being good stewards of the land."
Brownstown joins Nashville, Edinburgh and Rushville as CLEAN communities in the region. Goldblatt says these towns have committed themselves to efficiency and good environmental stewardship.
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