A multi-agency report on addressing climate change in Detroit is urging the city to increase recycling collection for all homes and businesses and ensure waste contracts follow the city charter to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Detroit Climate Action Collaborative, a coalition of 26 groups, created the report with hopes of making the city better prepared for the challenges of climate change.
It focused on five major themes: solid waste; public health; businesses and institutions; parks, public spaces and water infrastructure; and homes and neighborhoods.
The group set a goal of having 80 percent of the city participating in recycling and organic waste collection by 2022.
The plan also strives for Detroit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2022, 30 percent by 2032 and 80 percent by 2050.
“This report is a major step in putting Detroit on a firm path to doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kimberly Hill Knott, project director for the collaborative, in a statement.
Waste disposal, according to the group, is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions.
The group’s plan discusses other solutions including improving energy efficiency and durability of homes and using open space areas for stormwater runoff.
The Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. were among the companies represented in the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative.
Ford spokesman John Cangany said the automaker believed it was important for all agencies to work together in addressing climate change.
“Contributing to a better world has always been a core value at Ford, and our commitment to sustainability is a key part of who we are,” Ford manager Dominic DiCicco said in a release. “Personally and professionally, it has been quite rewarding for me to be involved in this effort.”
DTE Energy Co. was a contributing partner in the initiative, which aligned with some of the company’s own goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
DTE has plans to retire five coal plants in Michigan and transition them to natural gas and wind and solar power, said DTE spokesman Brian Corbett said.
“We see that there doesn’t have to be a choice between the health and of our environment and the health of our economy,” he said. “We can achieve both.”
City officials from the Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department and the Detroit General Services Department were also involved in the project.
Mayor Mike Duggan said in a letter included in the climate change report that Detroit must maintain its vision of “promoting a clean, safe, healthy, and resilient city that raises up all its people.”
“This plan is about more than climate change,” Duggan said in the letter. “It is about how we live, how we work, how we navigate this city. It is about prosperity.”