North Little Rock: Actually, It Is Easy Being Green (Green Initiatives (Over 20K) | Winner)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 12:00 am  

Government officials, including Mayor Pat Hays and Congressman Tim Griffin, helped open North Little Rock's CNG pumping station.

The city's residential curbside recycling program has accounted for more than 2,000 tons of recycled newspaper, aluminum, glass and plastic, and more than 39,000 cubic yards of lawn waste for composting and recycling.

North Little Rock has recycled almost 4,000 used tires and partnered with Pulaski County to collect more than 500 tons of used electronics equipment. And, of course, the city's free leaf vacuuming service throughout the fall and winter is popular among residents, who need only rake leaves to the curb each week. The city sweeps them up and converts them to compost.

“We believe that local sustainable options provide economic and quality of life options,” Kessinger said. “North Little Rock has become one of the most active green cities in the U.S.”


North Little Rock's Certified Arkansas Farmer's Market caters to local "locavores" who crave fresh, local, homegrown food. This commitment to locally grown produce reduces the gas emissions used to get products to market and supports local farmers, Kessinger pointed out.

Earlier this year, the city awarded almost $19,000 to seven community garden projects.

"Community gardens not only produce nutritious food and reduce family food budgets, they also preserve green space, provide opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections, encourage self reliance, and provide a catalyst for development," Kessinger said.

In 2010, Mayor Pat Hays created the "Fit 2 Live" initiative to encourage healthy eating and active living. This year, the program received a $1.5 million federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant to implement policy, systems and environmental changes aimed at preventing childhood obesity and promoting healthy, active lifestyles in the city and within the North Little Rock School District.

North Little Rock was one of just 10 cities nationwide to receive grants from this year's round of funding.

‘Led’ Zeppelin

North Little Rock is a leader — a veritable zeppelin, if you will — in the use of light emitting diodes (LED).

LED lighting is better and more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lighting. A single LED traffic light, for example, uses 12 to 20 watts of electricity compared to 100 to 150 watts used by an incandescent bulb. And North Little Rock uses LED only in all of its traffic lights.



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