- In a draft report released Tuesday, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and a 35-person Livable Nashville Committee announced a goal to become the "greenest city in the Southeast." The report outlines 25 strategies to reach this goal with major focuses on climate and energy, green buildings, natural resources, waste reduction and mobility.
- The report also details the city's GHG emissions "inventory," which shows that levels have remained fairly stagnant for years. Nashville has a goal of reducing GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
- Some recommendations made by the report's Waste Reduction and Recycling Subcommittee include expanding organic waste processing capacity, increasing commercial and residential recycling and institutionalizing the Solid Waste Master Plan. The subcommittee includes representatives from Waste Management, Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and Urban Green Lab, among others.
While becoming the "greenest city in the Southeast" may be a big undertaking, the 48-page report places Nashville on a clear, promising pathway toward a more sustainable future. By offering broad strategies with multiple detailed recommendations for each, the city has sent a clear message to its residents about what to expect with waste reduction and other "green" initiatives moving forward.
The city made headlines in late January when Mayor Barry announced a "Food Saver Challenge," which encourages local restaurants to track progress on reducing, recycling and donating wasted food. This challenge falls in line with the city's target to reduce food waste by 10% by 2020 (and 50% by 2030), yet only getting buy-in from restaurants will not be enough for the city to succeed. The report explores other food waste reduction ideas such as developing an educational website, requiring mandatory organics separation and more, which are ideas that will need to be taken seriously in order to hit targets.
Keep Nashville Beautiful is also leveraging the value of community participation by surveying residents to receive feedback on the draft report. While community surveys are not a new practice across the industry, they have proven time and time again to be a clear-cut method to understanding and meeting residents' needs.