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Recycling increases steadily in Cuyahoga County

David Beach  |  06/25/13 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Zero waste

Cuyahoga County communities have steadily improved recycling rates over the past decade, but we are still dumping a ton of waste per person per year in landfills. We are still far from a zero-waste society that treats everything as a valuable resource.

Capturing resources<br />By diverting yard waste from landfills and expanding other recycling programs, local communities have reduced the amount of solid waste dumped in landfills. Recycling progress<br />Residential recycling rates are inching upwards in Cuyahoga County. (Source: Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District)Where it goes<br />Landfills used by communities in Cuyahoga County.  (Source: Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District)

Lakefront hopes

David Beach  |  06/10/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Connecting to nature

A great lakefront—clean, beautiful, green, and publicly accessible—has been at the top of Cleveland's civic to-do list for decades. Now it's starting to happen.

Edgewater Park in Cleveland<br />

Building ourselves into bankruptcy

David Beach  |  05/08/13 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, NEO Sustainable Communities

The more we keep building communities like we have in the past 20 years, the poorer we will get. That’s what will happen if current trends continue, according to a recent analysis by the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium.

Sprawl costs us all<br />Low-density development in new locations drives up the overall cost of maintaining the region. Fiscally unsustainable<br />In 2010, the 12 counties of Northeast Ohio were almost balancing spending and revenue. However, all counties will be running deficits in 2040 if current trends continue. (Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium)Costly infrastructure of sprawl development<br />One reason for the increasing cost of local government is the  burden of extending infrastructure to new development in rural areas. (Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium)

Fearsome global warming milestone: Carbon dioxide at 400 ppm

David Beach  |  05/02/13 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is about to reach 400 parts per million. Many scientists believe the "safe" level to reduce the risk of cataclysmic climate disruption is 350 parts per million.

Inexorably rising risk<br />The Keeling Curve of atmospheric CO2 level measured at Mauna Loa Observatory. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Clean Ohio shows big returns from land preservation and brownfield redevelopment

David Beach  |  05/01/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Connecting to nature

The Clean Ohio Fund – the state’s primary funding source for open space conservation, farmland preservation, brownfield revitalization, and trail creation – has been a popular program. Now two independent studies have documented how the program generates big returns for the state’s economy.

Future segment of the Towpath Trail<br />A grant from the Clean Ohio Fund is helping to protect and restore this key section of riverfront along the Cuyahoga River on the Scranton Road Peninsula in Cleveland. It's one of many critical greenspaces purchased with Clean Ohio funds in Cuyahoga County.

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