From LED Lights to Smart Sprinklers: How Arlington is Protecting the Environment
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 08, 2019, November 08, 2019

Sustainability initiatives

Arlington is continuing its work to protect our environment through different sustainability initiatives. The City is focused on five main categories including air quality, energy efficiency, environmental quality, waste management and water use and conservation.

Here’s how Arlington is leading the way in sustainability.

Air Quality:

  • Transportation-related activities account for nearly half of all pollution. To keep our air clean, the City invests in sidewalks and bike lanes, ensuring residents can use walking and cycling as viable alternatives to driving.
  • Arlington operates the successful Via rideshare program.
  • The City also provides financial support to Trinity Railway Express for Arlington riders.
  • Technology in traffic lights means cars spend less time idling. 
  • The City vehicle fleet includes 17 hybrids and six CNG-powered vehicles.

Energy Efficiency

  • The City has retrofitted 10,500 streetlights with LED fixtures.
  • Arlington Parks and Recreation uses advanced lighting systems to manage and control lighting at 75 parks, 70 athletic fields and five athletic complexes.
  • New construction includes energy-efficient systems from plumbing to landscaping. New buildings must meet the 2017 Energy Code.
  • The George W. Hawkes Downtown Library includes solar panels on the roof and other energy-saving systems.

Environmental Quality

  • Arlington’s stormwater management plan meets EPA requirements.
  • Arlington Parks and Recreation maintains 99 parks and 4,718 acres of park land and was awarded a Gold Medal in 2018 from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.
  • There have been 24,000 trees planted in parks, city sites, medians or given away since 2012.
  • Arlington has been designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for 20 years.
  • MLK Sports Center is the first Audubon-sanctioned sports center in the U.S.
  • Tierra Verde is the first Audubon-sanctioned municipal golf course in the world.

Waste Management

  • Arlington operates an award-winning gas-to-energy facility at the City landfill, processing and treating landfill gas.
  • Residents can take advantage of curbside recycling, leaf recycling, Christmas tree recycling, electronic recycling and backyard compost classes.

Water Quality

  • The City has installed “smart covers” on sewer drains to quickly detect any overflows.
  • The conservation-rate water billing program rewards water-efficient practices
  • Installing remote-read meters has allowed residents to closely monitor their usage and quickly detect a leak
  • Arlington Water Utilities offers free fix-a-leak outreach events and sprinkler system audits 
  • The Water Department has partnered with the Arlington Public Library to give away reusable water bottles
  • Arlington Parks and Recreation has installed rain sensors to protect against unnecessary watering

By putting a focus on environmental stewardship, we will make Arlington an even better place to live, learn, work and play. 

News, Headlines, Government