Sustainable Middleton October 2016

A Message from the Middleton Sustainability Committee

Hello! You are receiving the Middleton Sustainability Committee's third issue of Sustainable News. The goal of this quarterly newsletter is to ensure that all Middleton residents gain a better understanding of the initiatives that are being undertaken by the City related to sustainability. To continue receiving this newsletter, be sure to subscribe to the City’s Notify Me list for Sustainability/Environmental Education.

Sincerely, Spencer Schumacher, Chair, Kathy Olson, Vice-Chair, JoAnna Richard, Council Representative, Megha Chalke, High School Representative, and members Deb Saeger, Angie Carey, Kris Koenig, Lee Schwartz, Dave Clutter, and Bradley Harris.

  • The Middleton Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in! 70.1% of respondents were either 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with the sustainability programs initiated by the City. 26% of respondents had no basis for rating the programs. We hope to reach more of the survey respondents to participate in the City's sustainability initiatives.

Climate Change Referendum

The City of Middleton is giving residents the opportunity to demonstrate the role you think the City should play in sustainability by asking you to vote on two questions related to climate change.

Question 1: Should the City of Middleton reduce the risks of global warming through its policy decisions and actions?

Question 2: Should the City of Middleton endorse a federal carbon fee and dividend program as part of a national strategy to reduce the risks of global warming?

Vote on the November 8 ballot.

Middleton is the first city in the country to have an advisory referendum question related to a federal carbon fee and dividend on a ballot.

Carbon Fee and Dividend is the climate change solution created by Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) to account for the costs of burning fossil fuels. As proposed by CCL, the Carbon Fee and Dividend program would:
1. Place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), and
2. Give back 100% of the net fees to households each month. The goal of a carbon fee is to encourage conservation and make renewable energy more economically viable while adding jobs to the American economy.

Climate Change Referendum Flyer

Holiday Lights Recycling

Drop off your burned out or broken holiday lights for recycling at no cost at one of the following locations:

Middleton Recycling Center (Saturdays only 8am-noon)
4330 Parmenter Street

Ace Hardware Middleton Springs
2540 Allen Boulevard

Wolff Kubly Ace Hardware
6305 University Avenue

Available now through January 31, 2017.

Downtown Brick Terraces

Have you noticed the brick pavers in downtown Middleton? The brick pavers in the downtown are permeable with a porous asphalt base which allows storm water infiltration. In addition to reducing runoff, the bricks trap suspended solids and other pollutants from the water. The old bricks that were removed from the terraces were provided to residents for reuse. Take a stroll around downtown Middleton to check out the brick terraces!

Imagine a Day Without Water

Have you ever imagined a day without water? No water to drink, or to cook with. No water to shower, or flush the toilet with. No water for farming, or fighting fires. Water is crucial to all of these daily activities, making water such a valuable resource.
‘Imagine a Day without Water’ is a national education campaign, sponsored by the Value of Water Coalition, to increase awareness about the importance of having access to clean water. The campaign focusses on conservation by partnering with local agencies, governments, and citizens to advocate and educate on the importance of updated water infrastructure for present and future water security.
The City of Middleton has partnered with the Value of Water Coalition, by signing the national petition that urges public officials to prioritize investment in water infrastructure, as well as passed Resolution 2016-59, recognizing the importance of sustainable water infrastructure on local water security.
What can you do to help? Everyone can get involved and spread awareness through all social media platforms, signing the petition, and more! Visit to learn more about the campaign and ways you can get involved!

Confluence Pond - A Success Story

This month, the City of Middleton is beginning the dredging of a major storm water management facility on the City’s west side. The facility is named Confluence Pond, owing to its location at the confluence of the North and South Forks of Pheasant Branch. The Pond was built in 2001 to shrink the extents of the flood plain, creating more developable land, and to provide a means to trap sediment and pollutants, most notably phosphorus, to prevent their reaching Lake Mendota.

The dredging is a necessary outcome of the great success Confluence Pond has had in trapping sediments. In the 14 years since it came “on line,” the Pond has trapped almost two feet of sediment across its seven acre permanent pool. (The pond under flood conditions is almost 25 acres in size.) The project calls for dredging 20,000 cubic yards of material, which will be placed on a nearby parcel of City-owned land to dry prior to hauling off-site.
Phosphorus as a pollutant is of particular concern in that it promotes weed and algae growth in water bodies, which in turn consume oxygen dissolved in the water as they die and decompose. This excessive consumption, or Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), degrades the habitat for fish and other organisms. Phosphorus is generally found in storm water in one of two forms: dissolved phosphorus, which is not easily removed from the water, and particulate phosphorus which has a propensity to cling to sediments suspended in the water, making it readily removable by dredging once the sediments settle to the bottom of a relatively still water body.
The dredging project is scheduled to be completed by December of this year.

Latex Paint Recycling at MRC Ends for Season on November 19

Latex paint recycling at the Middleton Recycling Center will end for the season after Saturday, November 19. Be sure to recycle your latex paint now! The cost is $1/gallon. Latex paint recycling will begin again in April of 2017.

$100 Toilet Rebates Available

The City of Middleton Water Utility is offering rebates of up to $100 for residential customers (includes owners and renters of single-family and duplex homes) who replace old or inefficient toilets with EPA WaterSense-rated models. Rebates for toilets, pre-rinse spray valves, and water audits are also available for commercial customers. Visit the City website for more information.

Future News

Got a topic you would like to be covered in a future issue of Sustainable News? Contact Abby Attoun, Director of Community Development.