Green Wooster

Curbside Recycling

Refuse collection is provided to residential customers through a contract with Waste Management, Inc. Recycling services are included in the cost of refuse collection. 

Materials currently being accepted for recycling are:

  • Ferrous and nonferrous (aluminum) cans
  • Newspapers
  • Glass bottles
  • Cardboard juice / milk cartons
  • PET/HDPE plastic bottles
Trees

Some of the benefits of trees in the community include:

  • Look beautiful
  • Provide cooling shade
  • Produce oxygen
  • Absorb carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Reduce wind erosion
  • Produce food for humans
  • Reduce soil erosion
  • Provide habitat for wildlife
  • Produce fiber for paper
  • Increase property values
  • Condition and filter the air we breathe
  • Improve water quality
  • Provide jobs for thousands of Ohioans
Administration

The Administration supports Division initiatives to conserve energy and natural resources and reviews proposals to determine cost effectiveness of proposals. 

As you review the initiatives in place in the various divisions we hope you can appreciate the concern the city has for our environment and the creativity our Divisions have shown in. We are proud of our accomplishments thus far and look forward to new initiatives. 

The Administration is always anxious to hear feedback and recommendations for energy conservation or other issues. Questions, comments, and suggestions can be sent here via email.

Building Standards Division

It is estimated that approximately 15% of all energy is consumed in buildings. The City's Building Standards Division enforces the State of Ohio's Energy Conservation Codes for all residential and commercial construction. Homes and buildings are field inspected to verify compliance with approved designs regarding energy efficiency. 

  • Codes and standards used by the Division
  • International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE standards
  • Compliance tools are used to ensure compliance with codes
  • Department of Energy software used by the Division - REScheck and COMcheck
  • Performance trade offs are evaluated against industry standard construction
  • Water/moisture management and flashings inspected
  • High performance HVAC and water heating inspected
  • Air sealing, ventilation, and IAQ
Engineering Division

The Engineering Division of the City of Wooster strives to maximize pollution prevention in storm water runoff that could be caused by erosion and sedimentation during land development and disturbance. We do this through the establishment, review and inspection of construction site storm water runoff measures, reaching out to the public with storm water information and educational materials, encouraging public involvement and input in managing the storm water system, and partnering with other agencies such as the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Wayne County Health District. We strongly urge each and every citizen to do their part in keeping our environment clean.

  • Stormwater management responsibilities
  • City ordinance 925 storm drainage enforcement
  • Ohio drainage law interpretation
  • Site development manual implementation
  • EPA stormwater discharge compliance
  • City Stormwater Information Page
Fire Division
  • Divisional members recycle aluminum cans for recycling, funds go to charity.
  • Installed new lighting system in both stations that reduces electrical output.
  • Installed new, more efficient radiant heaters in both station.
  • We spec new LED lighting for all new emergency vehicles which reduce electrical and fuel consumption.
  • The division uses exhaust capture devices on all front line vehicles that reduce the diesel emission from the exhaust. When these devices are needing replaced, we send the used filters back and they are cleaned and recycled for use again.
  • The Supplies Procurement Unit is working on replacing current cleaning agents, when they can, with a Greener friendly product.
Information Technology Division
  • CRT monitors replaced with LCD displays reducing power consumption from apx 300 watts per unit to apx 180 watts.
  • All machines replaced with new containing Intelligent Energy Efficient power supplies, and motherboards.
  • Server room placed on central battery backup, reducing the 30 individual server UPS to 1, thus reducing hazardous waste.
  • Server room placed on high efficiency HVAC system, thus reducing power consumption.
  • Remote administration enabled for internal network computers to reduce fuel use, and travel time.
  • Individual printers being replaced with workgroup printers to reduce overall power, and paper use.
  • Three fifths of our divisions employees ride bicycles to work as weather permits.
Maintenance Division
  • Since our changeover from incandescent lighting to LED traffic signal lighting we have benefited immensely on energy cost savings and fuel savings as well. A typical signal head prior to 2002 averaged 405 watts of power PER signal head. After the changeover to LED that average slips to 57 watts for the same traffic signal head. A substantial savings as one can see.
  • Fuel savings add up as well, we had to respond to scheduled maintenance issues, re-lamping of incandescent lamps every 12 -24 months for approximately 3 weeks out of every year while vehicles idled at every intersection. That has not happened since the City has retrofitted with LED inserts. The actual inserts are guaranteed to last 5 years and most likely 7 -10 years. The fuel savings add up.
  • Our traffic signal heads themselves have been changed over from aluminum construction to 25% recycled poly carbonate material as well.
  • Pavement markings have been reformulated to use water-borne pigments instead of harmful alkyd and banned solvent based thinners. The glass bead material we use for reflectorizing pavement markings is being made from 100% recycled glass products as well.
  • We are investigating using LED technology for parking lot and decorative lighting in the downtown areas.
  • We are now looking at utilizing recycled materials for our signal cable insulation, parking lot bumper dividers and recycled aluminum materials to manufacture our traffic signs.
  • In the Mechanics Bay our used oil & antifreeze is stored for a company to pickup for recycling.
  • Tires from city vehicles & tires discarded on roads are disposed through a local tire dealer.
  • Car and truck batteries are also recycled through a battery vendor.
  • Milled asphalt from our paving program is reused by contractors & individuals for reuse as a base material for driveways, parking lots and other projects.
  • We have old concrete that has been crushed to small gravel size for reuse as a base material for road projects. The larger pieces of concrete are used for erosion control along streams and road side stabilization.
  • Guardrail & sign posts are sent to the local scrap yard for reuse.
  • Leaves from our Fall leaf collection are recycled at a licensed composting facility as mulch.
  • Storm debris is ground into material that is reused as fuel to generate power.
  • We recycle cans & bottles from our lunch room.
Parks & Recreation Division

Environmental Impact of Parks and Urban Forestry

Urban green spaces provide environmental and financial benefits to a community beyond the obvious recreational and aesthetic value. These benefits include mitigating air and water pollution, combating suburban sprawl, providing opportunities for recreation, reducing crime and fostering cohesive neighborhoods, attracting businesses, and stabilizing property values. As part of a broader urban agenda, investing in open space can serve as an anchor for revitalizing neighborhoods and building healthy communities.

Natural or naturalized landscapes are fundamental components of healthy ecosystems. They provide habitat for species ranging from microscopic bacteria and fungi to large mammals. They prevent soil erosion, conserve water and maintain the cycling of nutrients. They act as large filters, keeping air and water clean.

Rainfall in urban areas produces run off that contains pollutants such as pesticide, fertilizer, oil, antifreeze, gasoline, and roadside salt and sand. This run off flows into nearby water bodies. Although run-off is generally absent in forested watersheds, in heavily paved urban areas, as much as 85 percent of all precipitation can enter nearby water systems in the form of polluted runoff. Natural areas, in particular wetlands, act as filtration systems for water, providing nutrient uptake and pollutant removal. In addition, soils filter out many types of contaminants and vegetation slows the flow of water. Open space along rivers and waterfronts acts as a buffer and significantly reduce runoff into urban fresh water and marine systems.

Urban forests also have a positive impact on a city's finances. Utility costs in compact green developments are reduced. Tree canopy cover reduces runoff, resulting in storm water service savings. Trees also provide air pollution, sediment and erosion control, and can notably reduce heating and cooling costs for buildings in close proximity.

  • In our office we have recycling bins in which we recycle our paper. Once the bins become full, they are taken upstairs and placed in a larger recycling bin. The recycling company then picks up the load of paper and takes it to be shredded and recycled.
  • We also have stopped printing duplicate receipts in order to save paper.
  • In addition, we are doing more filing on the computer and keeping less hard copies in our drawers.
  • Several of us in the office take home plastic bottles or aluminum cans to be recycled instead of throwing them away here at work. However, we now have recycling bins for newspapers, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles. We also use refillable water bottles and reusable dishes when packing our lunches.
  • We recycle taxi passes by reusing them after they are returned from the taxi company.
  • In the future, we hope to do more online registration in order to make information more accessible to the public, resulting in the use of less paper and printing materials.
  • At the pools, they recycle all the ink cartridges from the printers and buy all recycled paper and note pads.
Planning & Zoning Department

Our Planning & Zoning Code promotes "green" development through our landscaping & lighting regulations. These regulations require the planting of trees & shrubs on private property for new development and in the tree lawn of new subdivisions, promote the retention of trees and protection of natural areas, wetlands and steep slopes. The planting of trees, shrubs and grass, etc. helps to reduce reflected heat & glare, allows the infiltration of surface water into groundwater resources, helps to control storm water runoff, aids in the control of erosion, improves the quality of storm water discharge, and promotes the aesthetic character of the natural and man-made environment. In addition, our lighting regulations control the installation of exterior lighting fixtures to prevent light pollution which helps to conserve energy.

Wooster Police Department
  • Communicate by email whenever possible.
  • Will complete the switch to new LED light bars that are slimmer and use less energy.
  • The Justice Center has been recycling metal and cardboard for several years.
  • Patrol vehicles have to be shut off on calls unless emergency equipment is in use.
Utilities Division

Biosolids Recycling 

WPCP and WTP together recycle approximately 10 million gallons per year of Biosolids blended with spent lime to local agricultural operations. The biosolids replace chemical based fertilizers and have the added benefit of any residual lime value that will serve as a pH adjustment to Wayne County's typically acidic soils. One ton of this material contains approximately 600 lbs. of organic material, 13 lbs. ammonia nitrogen, 15.8 lbs. phosphorus, 2 lbs. of potassium as well as many other micro nutrients. 

In addition to the benefits realized by the farmers that receive this material, by reusing this product, instead of disposing of it as a solid waste, it avoids disposal in a landfill. Based on 10 million gallons per year, by land applying biosolids it conserves 1.34 million cubic feet of landfill space per year. 

The Biosolids Program is closely regulated by both Ohio and US EPA. The program must meet all the conditions specified under 40 CFR 503 (Code of Federal Regulations). 

If you are interested in being part of this recycling program, please contact the WPCP at (330) 263-5290 for more information. 

Energy Use Reductions

The City recently upgraded the WPCP. In doing so, the facility was designed with energy use reductions in mind. These reductions came through the better use of existing naturally occurring biochemistry, high efficiency electrical lighting and motors, as well as real time control of the system thereby optimizing the treatment units to ensure no wasted energy. To date, not including energy savings from the Cogeneration Facility, the WPCP has experienced a reduction in electrical use of approximately 2400 kWh per day, or enough energy to light up one thousand light bulbs (100 watt) 24 hours a day. This results in a financial savings of approximately $3000 per month. The City used the Ohio Department of Development Innovative Energy Grant #ELF-05-46 to create our Cogeneration Facility. 

Chemical Use Reductions

Formerly the WPCP utilized Sodium Hypochlorite (high strength bleach) for disinfection of the wastewater prior to discharge to the Killbuck Creek. This also required the addition of another chemical to remove the remaining chlorine from the water to prevent harm to aquatic life. If either chemical was overdosed, negative impacts to aquatic life were possible. The City chose to utilize ultraviolet light to disinfect the wastewater thereby eliminating the use of these hazardous chemicals. 

Sewer Separation Projects

The City's Engineering and Utilities Departments have aggressively pursued the separation of storm sewers from the sanitary sewer system. The separation projects reduce the overflow of untreated sewage to local streams during wet weather and thereby protect stream health. These projects also reduce the amount of wastewater pumped during storm events further reducing the amount of electricity needed to operate the WPCP. 

Water Line Leak Surveys

The City's Utilities Department conducts frequent line leak detection surveys. By conducting these surveys and locating leaks, this facilitates repairs and reduces the loss of treated water. By lowering the amount of treated water lost, the City reduces treatment costs by reducing power and chemical use as well as conserving natural resources by only using the amount of groundwater necessary to supply the City's actual water needs. 

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) Vial Recycling

The WPCP is required to conduct various tests to determine the strength of wastewater. COD is used for industrial compliance monitoring, high strength waste monitoring, EPA compliance monitoring and routine process control monitoring. The test utilizes a prefilled glass vial that contains a chemical containing a small amount of mercury that is utilized as part of the reaction. Previously, the contents were poured down the drain with other liquid wastes in the laboratory. The WPCP now collects these vials and send them back to the vendor where they recover the mercury and recycle the vials. This prevents the introduction of mercury into the waste stream.