Valle Verde Retirement Community, an American Baptist Homes of the West continuing care retirement community, celebrated their fourth consecutive Waste Reduction Award from California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery at an awards reception yesterday. This award follows a 2010 International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) Green Award also recognizing Valle Verde for their environmental stewardship efforts.
“We are very pleased that our Green Initiative is working so well, and that CalRecycle and the ICAA have recognized our continued environmental programs. We have found that through our Green Initiative we can improve our local environment, provide a nicer community for our seniors, and save money.” said Ron Schaefer, executive director of Valle Verde Retirement Community.
According to the CalRecyle, this year’s WRAP honorees “have diverted over 2 million tons of materials from landfills during 2009 and recorded more then $190 million in cost savings from their waste-reduction efforts.” Valle Verde’s green efforts put them along side other winners, such as Apple, Inc., Loyola Marymount University, and the World Series champion San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park.
Valle Verde’s Green Initiative lowers energy and water consumption and produces photovoltaic energy through solar panels on covered walkways. With the use of solar electrical panels Valle Verde can produce approximately 52,000 watts of electricity. With the addition of solar water heaters, high efficiency boilers, low flow toilets and showerheads, their utilities savings for 2009 is estimated at $210,000.
Over the last 6 years, Valle Verde Retirement Community has created and expanded a campus-wide green initiative with an overall goal to reduce their dependence on electricity, decrease waste, improve air quality, compost green waste, use reclaimed water, and buy local produce. Their new goal is to strive for carbon neutrality and even greater sustainability.