The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) celebrated Earth Day 2015 by releasing an article a day during Earth Week exploring how the construction industry contributes to building a green future.

On Day Three, AGC published an article exploring two green infrastructure programs: Envision and Sustainable SITES.

Drawing on the interest in green buildings, these green infrastructure programs address challenges specific to infrastructure and public works and have found new partners in the green community to further galvanize efforts to improve our nation’s infrastructure.



On March 25th the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Network on Smart and Sustainable Cities (ANSSC) will host its monthly webinar from 2-3:30 pm EDT on the EnvisionTM Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System, administered by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). The featured speaker will be Denise Nelson, vice president for public education at ISI.

To register for the ANSSC and participate in the webinar, please visit www.ansi.org/cities.



The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced on February 26, 2015 that the Grand Bend Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, located in Ontario on the shoreline of Lake Huron, earned the Envision® sustainable infrastructure rating system’s Platinum award. This project is the first ISI Envision verification in Canada, and first wastewater facility to be ISI Envision-verified in North America.

Key sustainable features include:

  • a constructed wetland to support native wildlife species and further buffer treated effluent,
  • flexible design that makes the facility responsive to changing sewage flows,
  • reduced construction and operational costs through a focus on efficiency,
  • constructing the project within the boundaries of the original facility’s footprint to protect prime farmland, and
  • trails and interpretive signage to encourage community visitors.

More information about the project can be found on ISI's website:



Will the Closed Loop Fund assist municipalities in increasing recycling rates?  The Closed Loop Fund, launched last year, will invest $100 million over the next five years in 0% interest loans to municipalities to develop local recycling infrastructure.  The Fund will link companies that want more recycled material in their supply chains to municipalities that need low-cost capital to invest in recycling infrastructure, enabling consumer access to recycling where and when it is needed. The Closed Loop Fund will provide investment for the following types of projects: carts (e.g., single stream), trucks (for collection of recycling and organics), Material Recovery Facilities (MRF), upgrades to MRF’s, secondary processing facilities, and emerging technologies. I think the Closed Loop Fund is a bold and innovative step to elevating industry-wide collaboration and may succeed in driving the market if complementary regulations are in place.  For businesses to make investments in domestic recycling infrastructure, feedstock security must be in place. But buyers of scrap plastics, for example, lack a reliable domestic market consistent in volume and quality, and collectors, producers and recyclers of scrap plastics can’t generate sufficient value to cover their costs.

What do you think of the Closed Loop Fund and its ability to develop new recycling markets?

Submitted by:

Michael Simpson P.E
Acting Principal Environmental Engineer
Industrial Waste Management Division

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