Des Moines Water Works has a long history of striving to be environmentally responsible. Our forefathers believed strongly in protecting the water quality of our river sources, and as such acquired the land that is today Water Works Park and Maffitt Reservoir. Through the decades, our employees have also invested in upgrading our infrastructure to make it more energy efficient, like installing energy efficient pumps and motors at our water treatment plants and remote pumping facilities.
Last year, Des Moines Water Works formed its first official “Green Team” in March of 2010. This team is made up of employees from each department within the utility. Their mission is “to serve as a liaison to employees and customers, communicating, promoting, and implementing sustainability and stewardship initiatives that demonstrate environmental responsibility to the community.”
One of the first activities of the Green Team was to expand DMWW’s recycling program to the new single-stream recycling now available. As part of that project, additional recycling bins have been located to make it easier for employees to recycle and in some departments the number of trash cans have been reduced. DMWW is also recycling batteries, ink cartridges, computer equipment, cell phones, light bulbs, used oil and oil filters, anti-freeze, tires, scrap metal (including old hydrants, valves, and pipe), and concrete from main breaks.
Des Moines Water Works is also participating in the first Sustainability Circle in Des Moines. As part of this program conducted by Natural Capitalism, Inc., DMWW is working with six other organizations in the metro area to learn ways to reduce waste and save money. We believe strongly in doing our part to protect the environment both now and for future generations.
DMWW’s Green Team has a variety of projects planned for 2011 and beyond to help create a more environmentally responsible workplace and utility for its employees and community.