IACT launched the Green Communities Initiative in 2008to identify potential cost savings to communities facing budget shortfalls, promote economically competitive quality of life concepts, and ultimately serve as role models for citizens while better protecting our environment. The initiative will expand educational opportunities for municipalities and create a consolidated clearinghouse of data and programs that can be accessed by municipalities. Whiting had to fill out a 49- question survey in the areas of purchasing, operations, measuring success, and sample projects. Not only did the city meet the minimum score required to be a Green Community, but ranked highest among other communities its size. The city’s exemplary efforts in the area of green programs earned them the 2013 IACT Green Community of the Year award in the 5,000–9,999 population category. This is the City’s fourth consecutive IACT Green Community of the Year designation
Munster is being honored for its waste to energy project that takes methane gas from CentennialPark, a former landfill, and converts the gas to energy. Munster’s plant opened in November 2012,becoming the first municipally-owned landfill in Indiana to construct and operate this kind of system.The electricity generated from the plant is placed directly into the local utility grid and sold to NIPSCO, resulting in addedrevenue for the Town. As a result of leveraging the $2.5 million federal grant and additional TIF funds, the Town will see a reduction in operational expenses for more than 20 years at no cost to residential taxpayers, all while reducing their ecological footprint for many more years to come.
“When I hear about projects such as Munster’s waste to energy initiative, I am completely energized by the limitless creativity found in municipal government. To take an old landfill and make it into a beautiful public space is visionary. To then develop that space into a revenue -generating, environmentally responsible endeavor is inspiring,” said IACT Executive Director and CEO Matt Greller.