Bloomington's greenhouse gas emissions decreased over past ten years, city says

Greenhouse gas emissions generated in Bloomington decreased by 13 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to a Monday press release from the city.

The city conducted a 2006 emissions inventory in 2009, and did so again this year based on data from 2016.

In 2006, there were approximately 1,582,515 metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. In 2016, the amount decreased to 1,375,237. 

The city assessed these emissions within three scopes. The first scope takes into account greenhouse gases produced within city limits, excluding what is generated from Bloomington's main electricity grid. 

The second is a sum of emissions generated by power grid-linked energy generation, and the third is a measure of greenhouse gases produced from Bloomington commutes and city resident waste treatment. The full report is available online. 

The gases measured, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, contribute to what scientists call a greenhouse effect, where heat is trapped within the earth’s atmosphere, according to information on the Environmental Protection Agency's website.

Greenhouse gases are created when fuel sources like gasoline are burned. The city’s assessment concluded that the emission reduction can be partially attributed to the decrease in coal usage for power.

The city also attributed some of the emission reduction to the use of a system that reclaims methane produced by decomposing trash at Sycamore Ridge Landfill in Pimento, Indiana, where much of Bloomington’s garbage goes.

"The Bloomington community has repeatedly made commitments to reducing our negative environmental impacts, and this is proof that we're moving in the right direction. This is great news and proves we can make a real difference by acting locally," Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said in the release. 

Jesse Naranjo

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