Check back for updates and information on keeping in harmony with nature in our corner of the world. Suggested content is always welcome and can be emailed to Kate Michaud at email@example.com .
The Town of Warren is focused on reducing our environmental footprint while maintaining the Town's beautiful natural resources. The Town's approach is to assess potential sources of environmental harm and work towards implementing strategies and projects to address them.
(image above from ecoRI)
Municipal Resilience Planning
The Town of Warren has partnered with the Town of Barrington to participate in the State's Municipal Resilience Program. After a series of facilitated workshops and meetings, a plan has been produced identifying areas of concern and future projects to improve resilence and preparedness. You can find the full plan here - please be aware that it is a large document.
The Town of Warren has recently adopted a single-use Plastic Bag Ban.
Solid Waste Reduction / Increase in Recycling
The Town of Warren has been focused on reducing solid waste sent to the central landfill in Johnston and increasing the amount of recycling and landfill diversion opportunities. Not only does this provide an obvious environmental benefit, but it also saves taxpayers money through reduced "tipping fees" paid to dispose of waste. Read more about Warren's recent progress to reduce waste and improve recycling.
The Town's regulations regarding solid waste disposal and recycling can be found here.
A May, 2017 presentation on waste reduction and recycling can be found here.
Yard waste is collected for free curbside for composting at the DPW yard. Limited amounts can be dropped off at the transfer station. Excess material is transferred to RI Resource Recovery. As an alternative, residents can consider composting leaves on their own property or leaving them for habitat.
Leaf Composting Guide
National Wildlife Foundation - What to do with fallen leaves?
Warren has partnered with Save the Bay and the Eastern RI Conservation District to implement water quality and stormwater mitigation projects throughout the Town. When feasible, "green infrastructure" is utilized to maximize environmental benefits while reducing maintenance costs. Examples of local green infrastructure projects include the bioswales along Water Street in the area of the Town Beach and underground infiltration systems on Campbell Street and Brownell Street.
With the help of Save the Bay, in 2018 Jamie Houle of the UNH Stormwater Center provided green infrastructure maintenance training to town staff.
The Town of Warren is a Tree City USA. The Town has a very active Tree Commission and Tree Warden who monitor adherence to the Tree Ordinance and provide guidance to property owners and town staff to care for Warren's tree resources.
The Town of Warren has implemented several strategies to improve efficiency of Town buildings and facilities. These projects were funded with the assistance of the RI Office of Energy Resources, the RI Infrastructure Bank and National Grid. The cost for the improvements will be funded through the energy cost savings realized through the projects:
- All Town streetlights have been converted to LED fixtures. In order to achieve even greater energy savings, all fixtures will be on controls allowing the town to dim the lights during off-peak hours. The control system is currently under construction and should be opertional soon. In the meantime, great savings are being achieved through the new LED lights.
- Town Hall has received all new LED light fixtures, improvements to the heating/cooling system and new targeted insulation.
- Government Center has received a new heating system, hot water heater and light fixtures.
- Mary V. Quirk Community Center has converted from heating oil to natural gas with a new boiler. Further improvements to the heating system are ongoing.
In the coming months, the Town will be participating in the “Achieving Community Efficiency” program. This is a grant funded program sponsored by the US Department of Energy in partnership with the RI Office of Energy Resources and National Grid. Warren is one of three municipalities and three school districts participating in the program. (The other municipalities are North Providence and South Kingstown. The school districts are North Providence, Barrington and Scituate.) Through this program a shared energy manager will be hired to work with each community to build energy benchmarking, develop and update goals and provide resources to work towards implementation. This program will help us to update the goals and information contained within the 2011 Strategic Energy Plan and to assess the benefits of the efficiency projects that have already been implemented.
The Warren Wastewater Treatment Facility is currently undergoing a major upgrade, which will improve environmental protection through the reduction of nitrogen discharge, improve efficiency through the replacement of outdated and underperforming equipment and increase resilience through the elevation and protection of critical equipment. You can read more general information about the project here.
The Town's wastewater consulting engineer has produced a memorandum detailing the methodology used to determine what resilience efforts should be undertaken. Read more here.
In 2019 an updated efficiency and resilience plan was completed for the Warren Wastewater Treatment Facility. That plan has been featured on the EPA's Better Buildings Program website and can be found here.