Wyoming has long been recognized for its environmental efforts. The City has been honored as a top recycling community for its waste diversion rate for many years, regularly preventing roughly 50 percent of Wyoming’s waste from hitting landfills. The City has also been recognized as a Tree City USA for 29 years by the Arbor Day Foundation for its tree planting program. In addition, the City replaced all street lamps with energy-efficient LED lamps in 2021, which will save roughly $280,000 over the next decade.

But Wyoming has launched many more initiatives in recent years to make it stand out as a City taking sustainability seriously, thanks to two volunteer commissions. The Environmental Stewardship Commission (ESC) and the Urban Forestry & Beautification Commission have developed multiple projects to divert waste, encourage recycling, and educate homeowners about the value of planting native vegetation.

Sustainability efforts in Wyoming

Upcycle Day – Started in 2020, this effort dedicates one day each spring to collect large unwanted household and trash items and recycle them through local recycling and re-use organizations. In just three years, the program has diverted more than 40 tons of trash from the landfill. In 2023, Upcycle Day is scheduled for April 21. Also, the City is launching a new Food Waste program this spring. Watch for details in an upcoming What’s Up Wyoming article.

Green Business Awards – ESC launched this program in 2019 to annually recognize special efforts from local businesses to put sustainable environmental practices into their day-to-day operations. Several businesses have been awarded for their work.

Education – ESC offers email news through the City e-newsletter and also meets with homeowners individually, upon request, to help them better understand recycling guidelines.

Compost Pilot – With grant funding, ESC worked with the schools to build compost bins at Wyoming Middle School, High School, and the Community Gardens. The project diverted 39,000 pounds of organic waste in its first two years.

In addition, ESC partners with Urban Forestry to conduct projects such as the annual Rain Garden Clean Up at Wyoming High School. Bobbi Strangfeld, chair of the Urban Forestry and Beautification Commission and a 2022 Citizen of the Year, says her group wants to make planting native species a priority and has made education on this topic a centerpiece of their outreach. For example, the group pushed the City to switch to native trees for all street landscaping because they are more drought-resistant.

These measures and Wyoming’s track record of recycling and tree planting help put Wyoming on a more sustainable path for the future.