Valparaiso's Green Initiatives

Ways the City Reduces Pollution
The city of Valparaiso is committed to reducing energy usage, waste, and pollution by:
  • Adding a new beautifully efficient connection between the east and west sides of town at Vale Park Way, improving traffic, safety, and efficiency for thousands of trips each day
  • Constructing miles of new pathways, encouraging pedestrian / pedaling traffic
  • Constructing a roundabout to transform an awkward triangular intersection at Sturdy Road, LaPorte Avenue, and Lincolnway into a safe and efficient circle
  • Constructing roadways that improve efficiency by reducing idling time, fuel usage, and exhaust emissions
  • Initiating a program to encourage the use of reusable bags by introducing a plastic bag recycling program and the distribution of reusable bags
  • Installing light-emitting diode (LED) signals in new projects, which improve energy efficiency by using less energy (1/10 the energy of traditional signals), lasting 10 times longer, and provide battery back-up in times of power failure
  • Instituting a tree inventory to protect and maintain current trees while adding new trees to the city each year, ensuring the long-term life of this valuable resource vital for air cooling and quality
  • Introducing a water conservation task force, which puts Valparaiso on track to become the first city in Indiana to introduce a water conservation plan
  • Offering transit solutions, including V-Line city buses and the commuter bus to Chicago, to reduce the number of vehicles and their associated fuel usage and exhaust emissions
  • Reducing winter salt usage through conservation and computerized salt spreaders
  • Separating stormwater and sanitary sewers to maximize treatment and minimize inevitable overflows
  • Using biodiesel fuel in the city's fleet of trucks and equipment
    • Biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources, such as vegetable oils, recycled cooking greases / oils, or animal fats; the city's fleet uses a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel fuel
  • Using smart signals downtown, which add to traffic efficiency, reducing fuel usage and emissions

Recycling Efforts
Aggressive recycling efforts, including the co-mingling of recycling materials, have led to a 49% diversion rate for the city. This means that the city diverts 49% of its waste from a landfill through recycling. The waste transfer station, added in 2007, reduces the city's trips to Kingsbury, Indiana, to deliver recyclables. Reducing these trips reduces the city's energy usage and exhaust emissions.