Sustainability in Ames

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For decades, the City of Ames has actively engaged in saving resources, reducing energy demand, and promoting recycling. From a strictly financial perspective, conservation of resources is good fiscal policy. In recent years, however, the push to reduce, reuse and recycle reaches beyond the positive impact on the budget's bottom line. There is a growing movement in the Ames community to promote conservation of limited resources as a means to achieving a greater global good -- a more sustainable future.

EcoSmart is the City of Ames' comprehensive strategy to reduce energy consumption and decrease its carbon footprint. While many of these efforts are new, others have been around for decades.

With support from the Ames City Council, Mayor Ann Campbell joined mayors from across the country in signing the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement. Part of signing the agreement involves conducting a baseline inventory of energy usage, collecting data about energy management, recycling, waste reduction, transportation, and land use. While Ames is working hard on going green, we are encouraging our residents to do the same.


New Smart Energy logo


Smart Energy is a suite of energy programs aimed at improving comfort, reducing bills, and contributing to the reliability of the electric system. These programs keep electric rates low and improve our environment. The Smart Energy programs focus on utility load management, development of alternative energy resources, and education. Smart Energy rebates reward customers for investing in energy-efficient appliance, lighting, construction, and more.


Smart Water logo

Smart Water is a suite of programs directed at water and wastewater customers, both residential and commercial, to reduce demand and consumption. Programs focus on water-saving techniques, conservation methods, and public education and outreach.

 Smart Trash logo

Smart Trash focuses on the City of Ames' commitment to diverting trash from the landfill through a progressive waste-to-energy system transforming garbage from around Story County into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for the Ames Power Plant. By processing trash at the Resource Recovery Plant, metals are pulled out for recycling. Glass is collected at glass recycling bins at local grocery stores, and more than 70 percent of the community's trash is diverted from the landfill.

Smart Ride logo

Smart Ride focuses on efforts to reduce carbon emissions through increasing efficiency in transportation services both in city operations and in public services. The City of Ames has moved to purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles including sub-compacts, hybrids, and an all-electric Zenn vehicle for fuel efficient driving and carbon footprint reduction.

 Smart Watersheds logo

Smart Watersheds raises awareness of local storm water and watershed efforts through educational and outreach events to improve water quality of area lakes and streams, and control pollution from erosion run-off.