Governor Cuomo recently recognized Tompkins County and the town of Ithaca as Certified Climate Smart Communities. At an event held at the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center in Ithaca, Michael Lane, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, and Bill Goodman, town of Ithaca Supervisor, were presented street signs highlighting their achievement of certification. The center is the future location of a new food scraps recycling project funded by the state’s Climate Smart Communities Grant Program.
Between 2008 and 2014, Tompkins County reduced its local government greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 53 percent and community emissions by 21 percent. In April, Tompkins County became the first community in the Southern Tier to be designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, highlighting its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs, and driving clean energy in its communities.
Town of Ithaca
The town of Ithaca earned its certification by implementing each of the Climate Smart Community Pledge Elements. The town performed building energy audits and lighting upgrades, started transitioning fleet vehicles to hybrids, and is providing composting in municipal buildings. In 2014 and 2015, the town purchased enough Green-e certified renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of its electricity use in municipal facilities and infrastructure. As a result, about 68 percent of the total energy used in all town facilities came from renewable sources. With commitments like these, the town of Ithaca is well on its way to achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from government operations by 30 percent by 2020.