Sustainable Middleton April 2017
A Message from the Middleton Sustainability Committee
Hello! You are receiving the Middleton Sustainability Committee's Sustainable Middleton newsletter. 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.
Solar Projects Discussion at the Middleton Public Library
The MadiSUN Solar Program is expanding to Middleton! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 28th, for a solar panel discussion at the Middleton Public Library. At the event, local leaders in renewable energy will give short presentations on where they see the future of solar energy heading, and how you can incorporate this into your home!
Cumulative Solar Projects in Middleton
Solar power is on the rise in Middleton! Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) and the City of Middleton’s Shared Solar partnership officially began generating power at the end of January for Middleton residents! The solar array, which can be seen on top of the MOC, is the largest solar array on a municipal building in Wisconsin consisting of 1,728 photovoltaic panels! The following charts display how much power generated through solar arrays has increased in Middleton. With this exciting new venture, MG&E and the City of Middleton are committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The Shared Solar program is currently full, but if you are interested in future shares, you are able to add your name to the wait list!
Focus on Energy
Is your heating and cooling equipment over 15 years old, excessively noisy, or your energy bill has increased recently? Then it may be time to upgrade your heating and cooling appliances. Save both energy and money by making heating and cooling improvements to your home! Check out Focus on Energy’s website to see what appliance upgrade incentives you could be eligible for!
Annual Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Event
The annual Alliant Energy Center compost bin and rain barrel sale will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Alliant's northeast parking lot from 10am-2pm. The event is part of a community-wide efforts to promote practices that reduce and improve storm water runoff into Dane County lakes, rivers, and streams.
To learn more about the event, including discounted pricing for rain barrels and compost bins, visit the City of Madison website.
Middleton Community Gardens
Middleton’s two community gardens, Bock Community Garden and Middleton Station Community Garden, are gearing up for another fruitful growing season! Bock Community Garden will open to gardeners mid-April and there are still plots available to rent! Visit Bock Community Garden webpage to find out more information about the garden and registration details.
Middleton Station Community Garden, located next to the School District Building, is starting off its growing season strong, with all 12 garden plots rented and gardeners eagerly awaiting the April 1st opening.
Middleton Recycling Center
The Middleton Recycling Center, located at 4330 Parmenter Street, is open every Saturday from 8am to noon. A full list of materials accepted at the Middleton Recycling Center can be found on the City Website, along with the most recent addition of a new battery recycling program which has collected about 300 pounds of batteries within the first 8 weeks of the program!
DNR Conservation Congress Meeting
Let the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) know what is important to you! Coming up on Monday, April 10, 2017, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each county starting at 7 pm where individuals interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.
Visit the DNR website to learn more.
Residential Water Conservation Program
You can still apply to our water conservation program! The City of Middleton Water Utility offers residents up to a $100 rebate when you replace an outdated, inefficient toilet with an EPA WaterSense-Rated High Efficiency Toilet, just look for appliances with the WaterSense label! For program details and application forms, visit the City Website.
The annual ‘Fix a Leak Week’ is a great reminder to check your home plumbing and irrigation systems for inefficiency! The EPA estimates that plumbing leaks from running toilets, dripping faucets, and outdated appliances in U.S. homes average to about 1 trillion gallons of wasted water every year. Read all about Fix a Leak Week , and learn how to detect leaks, repair appliances, and save money on your water bill!
Reduce Salt to Protect Fresh Water
Did you know that every bag of salt that goes in your water softener ends up in local freshwater streams?
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) wastewater treatment plant isn’t designed to remove salt, so salt that enters the sewer (from water softeners or road salt application) ends up in local streams. Since too much salt can threaten freshwater life, we each need to optimize our salt use to protect our streams.
You can help protect fresh water by making sure your water softener is using salt efficiently. If your softener is older, especially if it is set to regenerate based on a set number of days regardless of water use, it likely could use a tune-up or replacement. Even newer softeners can be set to use too much salt – call a water softener company to have an expert evaluate your softener and tune it up, if possible.
For larger buildings with large softeners, MMSD is offering additional salt reduction opportunities:
• Salt reduction rebates for projects that reduce salt to the sewer
• A training at MMSD on April 25 at 8:30 AM that will focus on ways facilities can reduce salt use
More information about these opportunities and chloride reduction is available at http://www.madsewer.org/Programs-Initiatives/Chloride-Reduction.
Got a topic you would like to be covered in a future issue of Sustainable News? Contact Abby Attoun, Director of Community Development.