Albany Climate Action Committee Reviews Several Helpful City Programs

Albany Climate ACTION LOGOThe City of Albany Climate Action Committee met on November 15th, 2023 to discuss matters related to policy and education on new updates to a number of programs. The next meeting will be held on December 20th, 2023.

Foodware Ordinance
CivicSpark Fellow Sutton Payne has been developing the foodware ordinance for Albany, and presented findings to the committee. The CAAP (Climate Action Action Plan) developed by the CAC has the reduction of foodware waste as one of its goals. Many neighboring cities, Payne said, had developed foodware ordinances, like reusable dine-in requirements/take-out requirements, and accessories-by-request laws. Payne also presented a number of foodwares such as reusables, disposables, and compostables (which aren’t really biodegradable), and fiber-ware compostables. The foodware ordinance project continues working with restaurants to provide initial resources/materials. During the public comment session, the owner of Fillgood (zero waste store in Albany,) commented about different zero waste programs the city could use when partnering with restaurants, as well as some feedback about what other foodware to possibly ban through the ordinance.

Advisory Body Status Update
The committee then was presented with the CAC status update. The city is shifting from a work plan to an annual status update model. The update is sectioned into items worked on, and prospective/future plans. The committee then worked on using better action-oriented language for future plans, out of concern to highlight urgency.

Heat Pump HVAC Rebate Program Incentive Updates
The committee then welcomed a presentation showing the heat pump rebate program, and how effective funding for the program was. The findings show that there were more high-income households installing heat pumps, than middle-and-low income households. The committee decided to increase funding for the rebate program by $75,000 until the federal HEEHRA program – an upcoming program providing lots of incentives – kicks in. Additionally, the committee increased heat pump funding for middle-income and low-income households by $3000 and $6000, respectively.

–Haadiyah Mohammed

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