When people think of communities who are environmentally conscious, what comes to mind? Do you think of cities in California, or western states or even Austin? Most people would not initially think of Frisco as a city who has a strong track record of protecting our environment. This is one of the surprising attributes of Frisco. We are committed to protecting and conserving our natural resources.
Several mayors and many councils back, all while under the wise supervision of our City Manager, George Purefoy, we began requiring a higher standard for all home builders. Little did we know, we were setting the pace not only for North Texas but for all of America. In 2001, Frisco was the first city in America to require Energy Star standards for new single family home construction. The end result for the homeowner is a home built better from the ground up, delivering better durability, better comfort, and reduced utility and maintenance costs. We pushed our home builders to deliver this standard because it was the right thing for families who were moving to Frisco.
In 2006, Frisco began the Green Building Program. It requires all commercial and multi-family housing builders to reduce energy and water consumption, reduce pollution, protect ecosystems, and, ultimately, build sustainable developments. Because of Frisco leading the way on these building requirements, it led to Texas changing it’s building codes which resulted in more sustainable construction statewide.
North Texas is a dry region which is prone to prolonged droughts. We know we need to conserve water. As recently as 2000, we used 299 gallons per capita per day (GCPD) and now we have almost cut it in half to 155 GCPD. We have reduced our water use through free sprinkler check ups by irrigation specialists for our residents and commercial properties which resulted in a reduction of 10.5 million gallons of water in 2016 alone. Also, we have decreased our water usage by incentivizing our residents with a rebate if they install a smart controller on their irrigation system. Frisco has been awarded the 2017 People’s Choice Award by the EPA for maintaining a low GPCD in a growing city. And, Frisco ranks third on the Texas Water Conservation Scorecard which is maintained by the National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation.
Now let me introduce you to the Frisco Environmental Collection Center. Tucked away at 6616 Walnut, just north of downtown Main Street, we recycle cardboard, styrofoam, motor oil, household batteries and plastic bags, just to mention a few items. We sell moving boxes at greatly reduced rates, provide paper shredding services, give away free compost, recycle household chemicals, dispose of electronics and metal appliances. Our efforts saved Frisco $850,000 in 2016 by recycling rather than sending to the landfill. We diverted 30% of overall household waste, giving Frisco one of the highest recycling rates for cities in Texas.
If you are around me much, you know that I talk about quality of life for our residents. Frisco is approximately seventy square miles. We need to respect and protect this precious land because it is our home. I want to be a good steward of our environment and preserve it for future generations for their quality of life.