Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Goes "Green" in State of Downtown Address
Oct 03, 2012 | WMFE - Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer unveiled a host of ambitious new green initiatives in his annual State of Downtown address Wednesday morning. Dyer delivered his speech inside the new environmentally-friendly Amway Center.
He said in the past four years, GreenWorks Orlando has spurred changes such as a twenty percent reduction of energy consumption by the city government, the addition of nineteen miles of sidewalks and bike paths, and the conversion of nearly all traffic lights to energy- and cost-efficient LEDs.
“These initiatives and many others save the taxpayers more than a million dollars a year,” Dyer said. “And we’re on target to reach savings of $3 million a year within the next two years. Now that’s real money which can be used to pay for police, fire protection, parks or ball fields, instead of paying power bills.”
The city’s long-range sustainability goals include everything from planting one tree for every Orlando resident, to expanding mass transit, bike- and car-sharing projects, to switching from traditional to LED bulbs for streetlights. Additional plans include installing charging stations for electric vehicles and retrofitting at least 50 percent of Orlando homes with more efficient energy systems.
In the immediate future, Dyer says Orlando residents will receive 95-gallon recycling carts from the city and will no longer have to sort their recyclables into two small color-coded bins.
“And this change will allow us to double the number of people that recycle in Orlando and double the amount of material that we recycle,” said Dyer. “It’ll also save us about $125,000 a year. We anticipate that single-cart recycling will be fully implemented citywide by Christmas.”
Dyer also announced a new city website where residents can suggest new eco-friendly ideas and speak out on existing ones – cityoforlando.mindmixer.com.