Keeping It All In The Loop

September 2022


Photo Credit: Biomimicry Institute

What are we talking about when we talk about “Circular Economies”? Simply put, these systems keep materials, goods, and services in circulation for as long as possible. New uses are found for products in various stages of their existence, and they continue to serve a purpose in our day-to-day lives. Circular economies have been recognized as one of the key components of an inclusive green economy. Luckily, the District of Columbia has various initiatives that follow this regenerative model.

As one example, the District is in the midst of developing its first Zero Waste DC Plan, a big opportunity to take a step forward on establishing local circular economies. Through the Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan, the District has a goal to divert 80% of solid waste without the use of landfills, waste-to-energy, or incineration by 2032. Residents can fill out this survey to provide their input and perspective on the Zero Waste DC Plan. The plan will identify the mix of policies, programs, and actions that the city must take to reach our diversion goal. Provide your input on the plan’s draft framework at by October 7.

In addition, DC Water harvests and distributes biosolids extracted from the city’s wastewater. The solids are extracted at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant where heat, pressure, and helpful bacteria are added to destroy harmful pathogens and reduce odor. The final product is a nutrient-rich product known as Bloom, that acts as a natural fertilizer and replacement to the more widely used, petroleum-based fertilizers. Bloom is currently being sold at District department stores. Lawncare or landscape professionals can fill out this survey to receive a free sample.


Department of Energy and Environment Publishes Keep Cool DC with Nine Strategies to Adapt to Extreme Heat

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) published Keep Cool DC, a strategy to address extreme heat in the District of Columbia. Keep Cool DC lays out steps that District agencies can take to adapt to hotter days by reducing the drivers of extreme heat and protecting District residents from the dangers of high temperatures.

Using the summer of 2022 as the latest example, the District of Columbia is experiencing warmer, more humid, and more prolonged summers than ever before, and summer temperatures are projected to increase by up to 10 degrees over the next 60 years. The number of heat emergency days each year is expected to more than triple by 2050. Keep Cool DC not only explains these projections, but includes a roadmap that DOEE will use to guide the District government’s efforts to help residents, businesses and visitors adapt to extreme heat.  For more information on the plan, visit the interactive Storymap here

­DOEE will host a webinar about Keep Cool DC on September 28 at 6:30 p.m. Learn more and register to attend here.


2022 District Urban Agriculture Small Award Recipients Announced

The DOEE Office of Urban Agriculture partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to implement the District of Columbia Urban Agriculture Small Award Program. The goals of the grant program are to support increased infrastructure and operations at urban farms to advance strategies to support the success of agriculture initiatives for socially disadvantaged farmers. This award program sought to provide funding to build capacity for crop production and distribution, and to increase knowledge within farmers and District residents through agricultural education experiences. Congratulations to the eight awardees: Children of Mine Youth Center, The Nicholson Project, My Seniors Keeper, Sovereign Earthworks, City Blossoms, Bridges Public Charter School, Housing Help Plus, and Common Good City Farm! For more information on how the funding was used, visit this webpage.


Redstone Center Publishes Policy Brief on Meeting the Goals of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration

In October 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, a commitment to center food policy in government strategies to address the climate crisis. George Washington University’s Redstone Center recently published a policy brief intended to serve as a roadmap for achieving the District’s commitments under the declaration. The brief outlines the District's current efforts to address climate change in the food system, as well as policy recommendations for future action. These recommendations, which were informed by the DC Food Policy Council's Sustainable Supply Chain Working Group, fall under four overarching goals: increasing awareness of the climate impact of food systems among policymakers and the public; reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food waste; strengthening climate resiliency in the District’s infrastructure; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from meat consumption. For more information on the declaration, visit this webpage.


Hi everyone! It’s your Sustainable DC Ambassador back to recap my last month spent with DOEE! 


Earlier this month the Washington Women’s Coalition of Professional Sports teamed up with DOEE to formally adopt a portion of the Anacostia River near Kingman and Heritage Islands. The coalition will assist with clean ups and help amplify the work around the river and the city's goal for the Anacostia to be swimmable, fishable, and accessible to the surrounding community. 

The Late Skate Event was hosted at Anacostia Park a few weeks ago and a wide variety of activities were offered for kids and adults alike. The Washington Spirit joined in on the fun and ran a jeopardy event where kids could score goals and learn about extreme heating events.

Closing out this month, I got to visit the Aquatic Resource Education Center (AREC) at Anacostia Park. The AREC has an abundance of native and invasive species in our watershed to look at – it is amazing what you can find in our backyard! The AREC hosts summer camps, school field trips, and has public visiting hours.

What I am looking forward to: 

Kingman Island Family Day is coming up on October 15 and we would love to see you all there! Click here to register. The event will include Green Boat tours, a free and accessible activity where you can kayak around the Anacostia while helping clean it up.

You can keep up to date on my journey through this newsletter and on social media @DOEE_DC and @anna_heilferty on Twitter and Instagram).



Notice for Request for Applicants – Youth Bicycle Educational Clinics

DOEE seeks eligible entities to host at least 10 youth bicycle educational clinics. Youth bicycle educational clinics will provide a bicycle educational experience for youths in the District’s underserved residential communities located in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8. The Department also requires the entity to work with the DC Public Schools second grade cyclists’ program on at least two events. Providing bicycle education and fundamentals along with repair and maintenance services will enable youth to seek alternative forms of transportation and help the District achieve its Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan goals. The amount available for the project is approximately $60,000. The deadline to apply is October 3 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit this webpage.

Notice of Request for Applicants – Perfecting Percolation in District Parklands

DOEE is seeking eligible entities to implement a research and field monitoring program. The main aim will be to test soil amendment techniques and subsoiling on compacted urban land as well as to identify and assess compacted urban open lands in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System sewershed, and then research and test out different decompaction techniques, assess the techniques’ effectiveness and practicality, and provide guidance and recommendations on best practices for landowners. The guidance and recommendations should address the management of open lands in the District. DOEE expects to award up to $267,000 to a single applicant for this two-year program. The deadline to apply is October 12 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit this webpage.

Electric Leaf Blower Rebates from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility

In 2018, the Council of the District of Columbia passed the Leaf Blower Regulation Amendment Act that prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or use of any gas-powered leaf blowers within the District, effective January 1, 2022. The DC Sustainable Energy Utility offers rebates for electric lawn equipment, both for commercial businesses and residents. Equipment purchased between 10/1/2021 - 9/30/2022 is eligible and rebates must be submitted by September 30. For more information, visit this webpage.


Department of Energy and Environment – Environmental Protection Specialist

This position is in the Environmental Services Administration, Lead-Safe and Healthy Housing Division, Licensing and Certification Branch. The Environmental Protection Specialist will assist in developing policies and procedures pertinent to operations within the branch. The Environmental Protection Specialist will respond to questions, concerns, and complaints from residents concerning mold, indoor air quality, radon, flame retardant, and drinking water. The incumbent will conduct outreach, assist residents in compliance concerns, and conduct field work as needed. The deadline to apply is September 26. For more information, visit this webpage and search for the role using this job ID: 18918.

The Building Innovation Hub – Associate Director

The Institute for Market Transformation seeks a seasoned professional to champion the on-going growth and long-term success of the Hub. The Associate Director will support the Hub’s Director in implementing a strategic vision to achieve the Hub’s mission and goals. They will collaborate with the local building industry, community members, and other stakeholders to identify and overcome barriers to advancing high-performance buildings in the DC Metropolitan region, complying with local green building regulations, transitioning to a clean energy supply, and more. To apply, email resume, cover letter, and writing sample (e.g. article, blog post, report, proposal, or external facing document) to Write “Associate Director, Building Innovation Hub” in the subject line. For more information on the position, visit this webpage.


Help Supercharge the District’s Electronics Recycling Program

Help improve the District’s electronics recycling program by filling out this survey. You must be 18+ to respond to the survey. The survey should only take about five minutes to complete and all questions are voluntary and all responses will be anonymous.


Help the Donation and Reuse Program Meet Your Needs

DOEE is working to launch a donation and reuse program, as established by the Zero Waste Omnibus Act of 2020. The program aims to reduce waste through reuse and illustrates the District’s commitment to achieving zero waste through source reduction and reuse, which are preferred over other forms of waste diversion such as recycling and composting. Help ensure the program meets your needs by taking this brief survey.


Department of Public Works Seeks Public Input on Upcoming Zero Waste DC Plan

The Department of Public Works (DPW) Office of Waste Diversion has begun developing the Zero Waste DC Plan in pursuit of the Mayor’s Zero Waste goal of diverting 80 percent of the District’s waste away from landfills and incineration by 2032. To help shape the plan, DPW is facilitating a robust public engagement cycle throughout the fall and winter. Community members across the city are invited to voice their concerns, share their ideas, and help build a zero waste future. Engagement opportunities include community meetings, public comment periods, and a public survey.

To learn more about the Zero Waste DC Plan and to access all upcoming engagement opportunities, visit zero



Ward 1 Open Streets Event on Georgia Avenue NW

Open Streets is coming to Ward 1’s Georgia Avenue on Saturday, October 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will close three miles of Georgia Avenue to cars and open the street for people to walk, bike, scoot, and play! Five activation zones along the route will host hourly programmed classes and demonstrations, including yoga, drum circles, double dutch, traffic gardens, pop-up bike lanes, dancing, and more! Businesses along the route will also provide space for outdoor dining and retail. The event is free and suitable for all ages and abilities! 

For more information, visit this webpage.


DC Greens Food of the Fall Harvest

Join DC Greens for the Food of The Fall Harvest at The Well at Oxon Run on Saturday, October 1 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. There will be a farm tour, a cooking demonstration and nutrition discussion, free produce box distribution (first 75 attendees), and resource sharing by organizations like the Community Grocery Coop, the DC Food Policy Council, the Green Scheme, and the Capital Area Food Bank's Mobile Market, among others.

For more information and to register, visit this webpage.


eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.

The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles, and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, October 1, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 2500 Georgia Ave NW (Ward 1, Near Banneker Community Center)
  • Saturday, October 8, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 1875 Columbia Rd NW (Ward 1, Near Kalorama Recreation Center)
  • Saturday, October 8, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Pennsylvania Ave NW between 19th & 20th St NW (Ward 2, Near James Monroe Park)

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.

Join Dreaming Out Loud for the 5th Annual Fall Festival

Join Dreaming Out Loud at The Farm at Kelly Miller for the 5th Annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Fall Festival is an opportunity for the community to come together in celebration of a successful farm season! This free, family friendly event will feature delicious, mouthwatering and sumptuous farm to table food, pony rides, face painting, music, games, volunteering opportunities and more! For more information and to register, visit this webpage.


Upcoming Fix-It DC Events

Let’s celebrate repair! Come and learn to disassemble and troubleshoot your broken objects at the next Fix-It DC event. Fix-It DC is a program which includes all-ages community events where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.

Attend the upcoming Fix-It event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Labs on Wednesday, October 12, 5:30–7:30 p.m. To register, please visit this webpage. And stay tuned for a future event on Wednesday, November 16, 5:30–7:30 p.m.


Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Hosts Outdoor Wellness Series

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is proud to offer an outdoor wellness experience at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with WELLderness: An Outdoor Wellness Series. Try for the first time or continue your practice at yoga, tai chi, forest bathing, painting, and enjoy live music till the end of October. Additional activities and events include West African and steel band drumming, bird watching, photography and dog pack walks. For more information and to view the event schedule, visit this webpage.


The District is fortunate to have organizations and individuals doing outstanding work on sustainability. Each month for the next few months, we will highlight one of the winners of the 2022 District Sustainability Awards. This month we are featuring Dreaming Out Loud (DOL). This inspiring nonprofit works to create economic opportunities for the District’s marginalized community members through the building of a culturally equitable food system.

DOL was founded in 2008 by Christopher Bradshaw in response to the educational and socioeconomic disparities facing communities in Washington, DC. Working to close this gap, DOL started by providing leadership and character development programs to school-aged children in Ward 7, through a partnership with Nia Public Charter School. Congrats for being a 2022 District Sustainability Award Winner!

To learn more about all the winners, check out this short film.


Why We Rarely Get Hurricane Flooding: Read this article on how the District is naturally resilient to hurricane flooding.

The Baby Bonds Initiative: Read about the new initiative to solve the wealth gap through “Baby Bonds” reserving funds for children from low-income families to access when they are older.

Barge Into History on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal: Check out this article on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal tours being given on replicas of Georgetown’s historic canal barges.




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