City of Regina, SK
|Population||PCP member since||GHG reduction target|
|213,789||1994||Corporate: 15% below 1990 levels by 2012.
Community: Design Regina: The Official Community Plan sets goals for 11 municipal and community areas.
Recycling helps make our community cleaner, greener and more sustainable. Through our Blue Cart recycling program, Regina residents have recycled over 16,865 tonnes of material. By working together, our community can recycle over 40 per cent of our household waste and divert 28,000 tonnes from our landfill each year.
The City of Regina is one of the original members of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. Along with FCM, the municipality was a key stakeholder in the discussions that set the program targets for emission reductions.
In the last decade, Regina has undergone rapid expansion due to its growing economies (oil, potash, agriculture), which has put additional pressures on municipal operations and services. However, by introducing energy reduction initiatives — including a series of retrofits to its municipal facilities — the city reduced its annual emissions by approximately 2,500 tonnes.
Over the next 25 years, Regina's population is projected to increase by 100,000. This growth was a key consideration in developing the city's official community plan, Design Regina. The plan sets goals for 11 distinct areas, including environment, transportation, infrastructure and economic development.
Regina received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund for projects involving eco-industrial networking, renewable energy and sustainable neighbourhood design.
Key projects and results
LEED Gold fire station is Regina's most efficient municipal building
Regina's new Fire Station No. 4 is the city's first "green" station. It has a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional fire stations, and provides employees with a healthy, comfortable indoor work environment while maintaining much lower operating costs for the life of the facility.
In 2013 Fire Station No. 4 received LEED Gold Certification from the Canadian Green Building Council, making it the sixth LEED Gold fire station in Canada and the only one in Saskatchewan. In fact, it is not only one of the greenest fire stations in Canada, but also the most efficient municipal building in Regina. The station is well insulated, with high-efficiency mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems. It features solar water heating, energy-efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, high-efficiency boilers, a sophisticated temperature and humidity control system, and a glazed-hose drying tower that doubles as a ventilation shaft to help cool the building.
In keeping with LEED requirements, occupant health was a prime consideration in designing the new building. Low-emission materials were used for adhesives, sealants, composite wood, paints and carpeting. The dorms feature operable windows, which provide natural ventilation and enable occupants to open or close the windows for personal comfort. Its well-placed windows let in natural light and provide views to the surrounding neighbourhood and landscaped areas; exterior sun screens on the south-facing side provide solar heat gain in the winter and shading in the summer.
- The green station has a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional fire stations, with high-efficiency mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems.
- Fire Station No. 4 participated in SaskPower's Green Power program, which ensured that half of the building's electricity came from an EcoLogo certified source.
- The low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption by 51 per cent compared to conventional facilities.
- To reduce loads on the city's stormwater system, the landscaping features a vegetated stormwater retention area. The landscaped areas consist of native prairie grasses that require minimal maintenance and no irrigation.
- The station was built using environmentally friendly methods. Fully 60 per cent of construction waste was diverted from landfill, 15 per cent of materials came from recycled sources, more than 20 per cent of materials were sourced regionally, and over 50 per cent of construction wood was FSC certified.
- The new Fire Station No. 4 is 60 per cent more energy-efficient than the old station, saving $20,000 per year in operating costs.
- Fire Station No. 4 was built according to LEED requirements for occupant health and wellbeing.
- Employees report that the station offers a very high quality work environment.
Expanded recycling program diverts waste from landfills
Regina's waste diversion practices now include the Blue Cart recycling program for single-family homes. The program was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Emterra Group. Since its launch, fully 98 per cent of Regina homeowners have used the Blue Cart; in January 2015, the program was expanded to include condos and apartments. The city's improved waste diversion was made possible through Emterra's new automated sorting and separating system, which can process up to 50,000 tonnes of recyclable material each year.
- The city's current diversion rate is about 18 per cent, and the city aims to achieve 40 per cent diversion through this expanded program.
- More than 1,000 tonnes of recycled materials (asphalt, steel, etc.) were used to develop the Emterra facility. Other energy reduction components include high-efficiency windows and doors, the use of natural lighting, low-flow fixtures and materials sourced from green suppliers.
- The city gets 25 per cent of the revenue Emterra makes from selling recyclable materials. The revenue share and a recycling user fee are used to help fund the recycling program.
- The program is easy and convenient for users. Residents can sign up for collection schedule reminders via email, phone or Twitter.
- Recycling can significantly reduce waste, extending the lifespan of existing landfills and saving millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent on new landfill sites.
Water conservation program preserves valuable resources
Regina has had a water conservation program in place since 1985. After several initial improvements — including communications initiatives to educate and encourage residents to conserve water, and replacement of faulty water meters — the city's annual water consumption decreased significantly. In 2015, the city will reline approximately 4 km of water pipe to reduce leaks; in the next two years, it will also replace two primary water pumps at the treatment facility.
- Water use in Regina decreased from a high of 39 billion litres in 1988 to 28.5 billion litres in 2007, while the city's population grew by 14 per cent over the same period. For the last several years, water consumption levels have remained relatively level at 22 billion litres per year, while the city has continued to grow.
- Left undetected, leaky water pipes can cost municipalities millions of dollars and lead to more significant structural issues. Proactively repairing and replacing water pipes has greatly reduced the city's expenses.
- Residents have become more mindful of water's value. Modifying the city's water pricing structure, which now charges users for every cubic metre of water used, has shown that financial incentives coupled with good communication can help manage demand for scarce resources.
- By pricing water fairly through metering, and encouraging residents to limit their outdoor water use to one day a week, the city helps to manage peak demand for water during the hot, dry summer months.
- The big issues of climate change do not always resonate at the local level. Because Regina does not have air pollution issues or visible environmental damage, residents may not fully appreciate how important it is to protect the climate.
- Calculating accurate corporate emissions can be challenging because methodologies and data availability change over time. Accurate community emissions data is also difficult to gather, given that local utilities do not maintain appropriate data on community-wide energy use. For example, Regina purchases fuel data from an out-of-province marketing services company to monitor transportation emissions.
- It is important to be realistic about commitments and emissions reduction goals, and to work interdepartmentally to choose projects that reflect corporate and community goals and priorities.
- Cities must connect with local electricity and natural gas utilities to collect the data required to complete their Milestone 1 submission, and for annual emissions calculations.