NEW! Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Quarterly Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

January 2016

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Upcoming Events

Green Drinks - Thursday February 4, 6-8 PM at Harmon Brewery, 1938 Pacific Ave.

South Sound Sustainability Expo - Saturday March 5, 10AM-3PM at Tacoma Convention Center.

Ongoing Opportunities

Sustainable Tacoma Commission - 2nd Tuesday of each month, 3:30-5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building, 9th floor Visibility Center. Public welcome! 

BPTAG (Bicycle Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group) - 4th Monday of each month, 5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building.

EnviroHouse workshops - Free with advance registration. Weekends at the EnviroHouse, Recovery & Transfer Center, 3510 South Mullen St.

Tacoma Green Drinks - Every 1st Thursday, 6:00 PM, at different locations around town.

Point Defiance Marina Beach Cleanup - 3rd Saturday of each month, 9 AM - 12 PM.

Additional Education and Involvement

Green Living Guide

An award-winning interactive map featuring many of Tacoma’s resources and efforts towards more sustainable living.

Video Features


This series takes you behind the scenes to find out where Tacoma's waste goes

Urban Green

Full Episode Archive

Tacoma Report Eco Videos

Explore the City of Tacoma's archive of videos on environmental topics.

Tacoma Environmental Action Plan

EAP logo

Thanks to everyone who offered feedback on the draft Environmental Action Plan (EAP) at the public meeting in December and through the online forum. City staff and consultants are making final changes in hopes of presenting the plan to City Council in February. The EAP will update the 2008 Climate Action Plan and outline the City’s high-priority environmental actions for the next 5 years.

Expo Logo

Mark your calendars for the 9th-annual South Sound Sustainability Expo on Saturday, March 5th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center. This free, family-friendly event connects residents and businesses with services, products, companies, and agencies that address environmental sustainability needs in our community. Everyone is welcome to come learn about green construction, energy efficiency, transportation options, local gardening, and more. Participants can again enjoy the Book-Movie-Music Swap, and families can join in two kids’ corners full of fun and engaging activities.

Scoopy Doo

Are you an “old pro” who practiced sustainability before it was cool? What can you do beyond biking to work, planting a tree, or shopping local? This year’s Expo will feature hands-on workshops with tips and tricks to take your sustainability to the next level. Learn more at For more information on volunteering or being a vendor at the Expo, contact us at

Possible Bag Restrictions

Following interest from the Sustainable Tacoma Commission and the City Council’s Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee (IPS), City staff recently conducted a public feedback survey about potential disposable shopping bag restrictions. Between November 23rd and January 15th, the Office of Environmental Policy & Sustainability received input from nearly 2,200 members of the public and 84 members of the business community. The results of the feedback survey will be presented to IPS on Wednesday, February 24th, at 4:30 p.m. (Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16). At that time City staff will also provide recommendations on what action, if any, Council may take.


Active Transportation

bike + bus + pedestrians

Tacoma is making strides in active commuting, according to the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking. Analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey, these organizations estimated that 4.1% of Tacomans regularly walk to work. That represents an increase of 164% over the 2005 level, making it the 13th-fastest growth rate in the nation for cities of any size, and the fastest in the Northwest! Tacoma’s bike commute rate was estimated at 0.6%. That was 22nd on a list of 52 cities our size (200,000-300,000) and just behind Spokane (18th, 0.8%).


Link Expansion Could Benefit Non-Drivers

Link train

Contrary to some perceptions, not everyone in Tacoma gets around by car. For example, a recent analysis of households living near the proposed Tacoma Link expansion (from the Theater District through the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods) showed that nearly one third of them (30.4% ) did not own a vehicle. (That’s 2,327 out of 7,659 households located within Census Block Groups that intersect with the 0.25-mile buffer around the Link alignment on MLK Way.) This suggests that many residents in these parts of downtown are already getting around primarily by walking, biking, and taking transit. The proposed Link expansion could serve more Tacomans for whom driving is not an option while also enabling others to ditch their cars for good.

HHHN logo

In early February, the Lincoln and Hilltop programs will restart neighborhood canvassing to discuss eco-friendly, money-saving resources face-to-face with community members. Program teams will approach more than 4,300 households for knock-and-talk conversations through June 2016. In each neighborhood, the program has planned a community breakfast, a walking tour, and other events. Residents can learn more about the HHHN program and see the updated events schedule at Anyone interested in volunteering or connecting to the program in other ways should contact for Lincoln and for Hilltop.

Hilltop In Motion Logo
Hilltop bus

The Hilltop In Motion program is wrapping up its Fall and Winter seasons of events, surveying and fulfillment. 170 Hilltop residents took a Trip Diary survey providing information about how they get around when running errands, going to school, and traveling to work. In response to these surveys, In Motion contractors Brittani and Emily visited nearly 100 homes to deliver resources about walking, biking, and taking transit. Other public outreach included a walking event on MLK Day, a Transportation Forum, and a one-on-one “intercept survey” at the neighborhood grocery store. Keep an eye out for more programming and events from Hilltop In Motion later this spring.


Trees Are Amazing!

oak leaves

In January, The Tacoma News-Tribune ran a series of articles on the issue of Tacoma’s urban forest, including an editorial calling for residents and City staff to work together to achieve the goal of 30% tree canopy by 2030. Trees perform many important functions, such as absorbing rainwater, digesting carbon dioxide, providing habitat, and creating beautiful, walkable neighborhoods. For more information on planting and maintaining trees in Tacoma, including the City’s tree coupon program, visit

envirohouse logo

Spring workshops will begin soon at the EnviroHouse (located at the Transfer and Recovery Center, 3510 S. Mullen St.). Workshops are free, but advance registration is required. (Note: If a workshop is full, please register for the waiting list.) For more information on workshops, resources, and planning your visit, view this brochure or the EnviroHouse website. Here is the current spring schedule, which is subject to change:

Feb. 6, 10:30 AM - Natural Daylight: Solatube DIY Demo

Feb. 13, 10:30 AM - Organic Fruit Tree Selection and Care

Feb. 13, 1:30 PM - Early Gardens: Berries, Root Stock, Raised Beds

Feb. 20, 10:30 AM - Ductless Heat Pump: Advantages and Incentives

Feb. 20, 1:30 PM - Solar Power: How It Can Work for You

Feb. 27, 10:30 AM - Backyard Chickens: Getting Started

Mar. 12, 10:30 AM - Yard Waste and Worm Bin Composting

Mar. 19, 10:30 AM - Backyard Chickens: Getting Started

Mar. 20, 1:30 PM - Rain Barrels: How to Make and Maintain

Mar. 26, 10:30 AM - Food Garden Prep: Starting with Seeds

Urban Green logo

Recent video highlights from Urban Green:

  • Tacoma's Central Wastewater Treatment Plant has received some much-needed flood protection.
  • The green roof at the Center for Urban Waters absorbs rainfall, filters pollutants, and helps to insulate the building.
  • The City of Tacoma hires a herd of goats! Meet these adorable workers as they clear a Stormwater Pond.
  • The City is investing in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Hybrid trucks to reduce pollution and costs.
  • Green Tips: Lower your thermostat for cost and energy savings.


Meet Our Staff: Jetta Antonakos


After growing up in Maine and attending college in Boston, Jetta moved to this area over 30 years ago. Much of that time was spent developing education, outreach and collection programs devoted to increasing recycling and waste prevention. Since joining the City of Tacoma six years ago she continues to focus on keeping still useable goods and materials out of the Pierce County landfill. As Jetta sees it, “Recycling is very important, but it’s best when we prevent waste in the first place. Nearly everything we discard is an item or material that has value and potential to be recycled or reused.” She is currently tackling the issue of food waste, looking at new technologies for recycling food scraps and ways to waste less food.

Jetta appreciates the many friendly, down-to-earth people she interacts with at work and in the Tacoma community. And she has a “guilty pleasure” that many of us can relate to: “I can’t resist a good donut and Tacoma has some of the world’s finest!”