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ARC Recognizes Eight Communities for their Commitment to Sustainability

Posted on: Jan 24, 2018

The Atlanta Regional Commission announced today that Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, and Rockdale counties and the cities of Chamblee, Dunwoody, Roswell, and Suwanee have been certified through the agency’s Green Communities program for their leadership in sustainability practices.

“We applaud these local governments for reducing their environmental impact,” said ARC chairman Kerry Armstrong. “As they do so, they lead the way in creating a greener and more livable region.”

ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint.

The 2017 Green Communities honorees achieved the following certification levels:

  • Cobb County – Recertified, upgraded to Gold
  • City of Roswell– Recertified Gold
  • DeKalb County– Recertified Silver
  • Douglas County– Recertified, upgraded to Silver
  • City of Dunwoody– Recertified Silver
  • Rockdale County – Upgraded to Silver
  • City of Chamblee – Certified Bronze
  • City of Suwanee– Recertified Bronze

All winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities. Examples of the measures that were awarded certification points include:

  • City of Chamblee – installing end-of-trip bicycle facilities at all its complexes and requiring at least three bike parking spaces at many types of new developments.
  • Cobb County – setting up a wildlife and rain garden demonstration site that showcases methods for stream bank stabilization, residential and commercial rain gardens, as well as habitat creation.
  • Douglas County – putting in place extensive LED light fixtures, estimated to save nearly $16,000 annually.
  • Rockdale– providing educational materials about glass recycling as well as providing a collection location.
  • City of Suwanee – hosting Georgia’s largest organic community garden as well as a rainwater cistern and a new community orchard.
  • DeKalb County – using methane gas produced and refined at its Seminole Road Landfill to supply its fleet of compressed natural gas vehicles.
  • City of Dunwoody – helping residents properly dispose of household hazardous waste by holding collection events twice a year.
  • City of Roswell – installing advanced metering infrastructure that provides water usage data by the hour, assists the utility with leak identification, and allows for water conservation and better customer relations with the utility.

Together, the green efforts of these eight local governments have had the following cumulative impact over the past four years:

  • 3.7 million gallons of water saved or reused
  • 381 additional acres of greenspace
  • 19,100 tons of household hazardous waste collected
  • More than $1.4 million in utility savings
  • 19,700,000 kWh of energy saved

In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments — 13 cities and seven counties – are currently certified under the ARC Green Communities program. This is the first program in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments.

More information about ARC’s Green Communities Certification Program, including the measures each community has implemented, is available at

Learn more about ARC’s 2017 Green Communities honorees:

VIDEO – 2017 Green Communities Awards


Kate Sweeney