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Peoria's history, population, vision/mission statements, sustainability efforts, redistricting, and construction projects. Info on the P83 district, schools, the Peoria Leadership Institute seminar, and diversity.

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City of Peoria Press Release



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Peoria Goes Green, Saves Green

Recycled, Remanufactured Items Now 70% of Office-Supply Purchases

11/9/2009

PEORIA, Ariz. (Nov. 9, 2009) – By making a concerted effort to factor sustainability into their purchasing decisions, Peoria officials have dramatically increased the percentage of green products among the office supplies the city purchases -- while at the same time cutting Peoria’s total bill for office supplies by more than one-third.

“We decided to purchase sustainable products when practical because it is the right thing to do,” says City Manager Carl Swenson. “The fact that it’s saving money for the city is a bonus, but a fortuitous one during this economic downturn.”

The share of green and recycled items reached 70 percent during the first six months of 2009, up from 14 percent for all of 2008 – a fivefold increase.

And while Peoria spent about $330,000 on office supplies last year, it is on pace to spend about $200,000 in 2009.

The Finance Department’s Materials Management Division handles purchasing for the city. It defines “green products” as those that are made from recycled materials or those that have been remanufactured for reuse.

“City employees have really embraced the program,” says Dan Zenko, Materials Management supervisor. “That is what drove our rate from 14 percent to 70 percent with just a little encouragement and showing them what we could save.”

Zenko says one of the biggest successes has been a shift to recycled toner cartridges: “We did a pilot program through our IT department and found that the quality and performance rates on the remanufactured cartridges were similar to name-brand products.” Contrary to the popular belief that environmentally friendly products cost more, Zenko says there are quite a few that cost about the same or less than regular items.

“With all employees being asked to cut back on expenditures, to watch what they purchase and to only purchase what they really need to do their jobs, the result has been everyone taking a closer look at what is being purchased -- which has helped the green initiative,” Zenko says.

So when he talks about Peoria spending one-third less on office supplies, he says, “Part of that is savings from going green and part of that is simply being frugal in what we purchase.”

Either way, Peoria taxpayers benefit.