The City of Blue Ash continues sustainability and energy efficiency efforts

(December 7, 2022 - Blue Ash)sustainability energy efficiency world leaf

The City of Blue Ash has prioritized sustainability and energy efficiency improvements over the last few years. This is in addition to residents’ recycling efforts which continue to be near the top in the region.

Green construction projects at Summit Park include the creation of bioswales and installation of native plants to reduce stormwater runoff and increase groundwater filtration, water reclamation and underground detention efforts to direct and filter stormwater, stream restoration of a drainage ditch, the construction of lawn underdrains to capture water and divert it to the ponds, and the installation of LED lights.

In addition, hundreds of staff and volunteers worked with the Ohio River Foundation to remove more than 40,000 invasive plants and restored nearly two acres of the prairie at Summit Park. No-mow areas were also increased.

Various roadways in the City have also been improved with sustainability projects. A bioswale was installed at Plainfield Road and exfiltration trenches were completed on Cooper Road and Ilmenau Way to clean stormwater. The Downtown Streetscape was outfitted with LED lights and pervious concrete to allow for water filtration at tree cells.

The Blue Ash Golf Course continues to make sustainability improvements. A water reclamation effort was completed in 2022 that utilizes two retention ponds within the Daventry development. This water can be used to naturally recharge the golf course irrigation source which is used to water the turf and landscapes. Golf Course staff have also increased no-mow areas and created Monarch butterfly habitats.

Blue Ash participates in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.  PACE is a program that provides financing to cover the upfront costs of energy improvements to a property. The loan is repaid over time through a special assessment on the building’s property tax bill.  To date, eight properties in Blue Ash have received PACE financing for an upfront investment of nearly $14M in energy improvements consisting of HVAC, boiler, plumbing, lighting, roof, façade, and energy management system upgrades.

Waste collection and recycling efforts by the Public Works Department continue to keep tons of material out of landfills. Nearly 38 percent of total waste is diverted from landfills and recycled. Leaves and wood, in particular, are recycled into topsoil and mulch for reuse.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Recycling collection: 1,522.07 tons
  • Leaf collection: 350.4 tons
  • Bulk brush collection: 629.2 tons
  • Bulk wood chip collection: 224.8 tons
  • Recycling latex paint: 8.94 tons

These recycling efforts in Blue Ash:

  • Conserved enough energy to power every home in Blue Ash for 17 days.
  • Reduced more air pollution than if every household in Blue Ash rode their bicycle to work for 11 weeks.
  • Saved 8,487 trees from being harvested.

On average, each household in Blue Ash diverted 1,076 pounds in 2021.

City buildings have increased energy efficiency with the installation of LED lighting and HVAC improvements. Plumbing enhancements were also made to reduce water usage. Insulation in the Municipal Building was improved during the roof replacement in 2020.

The upcoming renovation of Towne Square will also incorporate green initiatives. A water quality structure will capture sediment and reduce pollution from stormwater runoff, there will be a 50 percent reduction in impervious surfaces to reduce runoff and recharge groundwater, and LED lighting will be used.

For sustainability and energy efficiency improvements from 2020, click here.