What is Sustainability?
The City of Texarkana, Texas defines "sustainability" as meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations' abilities to meet their own needs. Our sustainability programs focus on improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings through energy audits and retrofits, employee energy saving competitions such as "Reduce Your Juice," and installing solar panels to offset energy use in our local parks. Whether you are a passionate environmentalist or a local business leader sustainability simply makes sense as every program we initiate must include a return on investment (ROI) statement and payback period typically less than 5 years.
News Update: Texarkana was selected as a 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards Honorable Mention Community by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for our sustainability efforts. For more information, please check out the awards website site at http://bclc.uschamber.com/article/honorable-mentions-2012-sustainable-communities.
A few quotes about the City's sustainability programs:
"We would like to congratulate the City of Texarkana, Texas for their proactive thinking and collaboration efforts with SWEPCO to make these sustainability programs a reality. Investing in alternative energy and energy efficiency is not only the right thing to do for future generations but makes sense from a business and investment standpoint as well." - Jeff Sandford, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce
"We are always excited to see great communities like Texarkana taking the initiative to find ways to save energy, protect the environment and educate its citizens, especially the children, in sound energy practices and conservation methods." - Jeff Thigpen, AEP SWEPCO
Energy Efficiency & Conservation
Energy Efficiency and Conservation includes fostering sustainable consumption and production by leading local efforts to ensure natural resources are produced, processed, and consumed in a more sustainable way. The City has partnered with SWEPCO's Commercial Solutions Program to retrofit 4 municipal buildings (City Hall, Southwest Center, Sign & Sign Signal, and the Street Department) and 90 commercial buildings in the community for increased efficiency in lighting, HVAC, and reflective (white) roofs. Collectively the 16 participating organizations installed energy efficient lighting, HVAC and white "reflective" roofing that saved over 5,926,559 kWh of electricity and saved a combined annual cost of over $683,908.13.
For more information on the energy savings thus far please see the Municipal Building Energy Efficiency Tracking Chart.
"Reduce Your Juice" was a competition between various municipal buildings involving all City employees. Each building within the competition was monitored monthly and ranked based on the percentage of kilowatt hours reduced from the same month during the previous year. Buildings in last year's competition included City Hall, the Health Department, the Library, the Perot Theatre, the Southwest Center, General Services and all Fire Stations.
At the end of the six month competition, a free lunch and/or other prizes were given to the municipal building employees who reduced their energy consumption the most. The prizes were funded through SWEPCO's Commercial Energy Solutions Program.
Community Participation & Engagement
An active citizenry is essential to becoming a sustainable community. The City of Texarkana, Texas encourages residents to participate in the process of governing through volunteering, speaking on important issues, or assisting in practical ways.
Reduce Waste - Texarkana has increased its recycling rate from 4% to nearly 65% in the last year! You can make a difference by reducing waste at home and save money in the process. Participate in the City of Texarkana, Texas recycling program and reduce your garbage container to only one saving you money. This EPA website will explain how to do just that! Everything from what to look for when purchasing items at the store (is the packaging recyclable?) to using organics for composting. Take a look!
Saving Money - In 2011, the community recycled over 1565 tons of material which at the current rate will add an additional 7 years to our landfill. Currently landfills in Texas have an average replacement cost of more than 30 million dollars according to Waste Management, Inc of Texas. You can make a difference by reducing waste at home and adding years to our landfill in the process. Also, if your family currently has two containers you can reduce your garbage container to only one by recycling the rest saving you money. Participate in the City of Texarkana, Texas recycling program today!
What can I do?
Save Energy & Money - Compare your home's energy efficiency to others in the region and then follow some of the simple steps at the Energy Star Yardstick website. It includes information on:
- a. Do-It-Yourself Energy Efficiency
- b. Eligible Tax Credits and Rebates for Improvements
- c. Local qualified professionals that can do the work for you
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I recycle this?
For a list of the most commonly asked products and disposal locations please see our Sustainability Guide 2012.
How do I make my home more energy efficient?
Energy Star has the most impressive and user-friendly collection of information at the Energy Star Yardstick website.
If I own a small business can I recycle?
Yes absolutely if you currently have non-dumpster service, please call TWU and ask for the Commercial Non-Dumpster Recycling Program.