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Big Bear Lake’s efforts to go green




Mayor Rick Herrick and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Jahn placing clean air decal on a City fleet alternate fuel vehicle.


   In the spirit of Earth Day and an effort year-round to be conscious of ways the City of Big Bear Lake can “go green”, several green efforts are already in place:

  • Adoption & Implementation of Green Building Codes – The City is looking in to possible certification of green builders and recognizing ‘green homes’.

  • Recycling programs where students at local schools are encouraged to recycle aluminum cans & plastic bottles.  Bins are purchased and thru a partnership with the Big Bear Rotary Early Act Club, funds received from recycling go back to the schools to fund projects such as playground equipment, etc. In addition, recycling containers are located at City parks. 

  • Recycling bins (bottles, cans & white paper) are provided at every employee workstation, in copy rooms and break rooms.

  • The Big Bear Lake Department of Water & Power, through its conservation programs, works with local lodges and Private Home Rental Management Companies to encourage visitors to re-use towels & conserve water.  In addition, the City has a Water Conservation Ordinance in its Development Code (Chapter 17.11).  The City is looking in to designing a name for a ‘towel rebate program’, in which patrons of local hotels and lodging facilities receive a discount for re-using their room towels.  This would coincide with a recognition program for ‘green sustainable lodges’.

  • The City is part of a Valley-wide trails coalition that has identified bike routes and continues to work on a Bike Master Plan & signage.  In addition, staff is looking to expand the bike rack program.  The City is looking in to a building code standard to put more racks in when new development or rehab takes place.

  • Last year, the City purchased (2) Ford Escape hybrid vehicles to add to its fleet and is looking in to the feasibility of using dual fuel vehicles like the (2) propane/gas Ford trucks it currently owns.  ‘Clean Air Vehicle’ Decals are placed on all alternative fuel vehicles in the fleet.

  • Exploring Energy Alternative Options – Currently, the City’s sewer system (sanitation) monitoring is powered by solar panels.

  • The design for the new City Public Works Yard includes LEED equivalent components.  

  • The City replaces all light bulbs in City facilities with high-efficiency bulbs as replacement is needed.  In addition, staff will seek Bear Valley Electric’s assistance in conducting an energy audit of all lighting ballasts, etc. in City facilities to provide recommendations for better efficiency. 

  • The City is “working to become a zerowaste community.”  This stretches much further than just disposal needs being met at local Clean Bear Sites. Through negotiations with its waste hauler, the City is looking for a 35% reduction in waste (or meeting state standards (whichever is greater)) over the life of the contract, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. This may include separating green residential waste, replacing outdated vehicles, etc.  In addition, the City has already placed several ‘Big Belly’ solar trash receptacles in the Village as part of a demonstration project. City staff will continue to seek grant opportunities to purchase more of these receptacles. 

  • The City currently has programs in place for yard waste chipping and composting thru its Neighborhood Chipping Program, which allows residents to leave vegetation and brush at their curbside for pick-up. City crews pick up and chip the material and re-distribute it to those who want it for ground cover or mulch.  This program also reduces live fuels on properties, which, in turn, helps reduce fire risk.

  • The City’s Pavement Management Plan – pulverization techniques are used, which reuses existing material right at each street site.

  • Xeriscape plants and materials are included in Phase II design components for Boulder Bay Park.

  • Sidewalk projects promote connectivity.

  • Staff is seeking to secure grants for LED lights in City traffic signals.  In addition, staff continues to work on improving synchronization to ease traffic flow and congestion.

  • The City has several dog waste stations located throughout the community near trails and parks.  These help owners dispose of pet waste properly and helps with NPDES levels/pollution in to Big Bear Lake.

  • The City publicizes a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program in which residents can drop off materials such as oil, paint, batteries, etc. at Big Bear Disposal on a regular basis.  In addition, in partnership with Big Bear Disposal, the City holds two FREE waste collection days annually.  The City also has a Small Business Hazardous Waste Program, in partnership with the San Bernardino County Hazardous Materials Division, in which business owners can bring materials to Big Bear Disposal (Garstin Drive site) on the first Thursday of each month for disposal. 

About Big Bear Lake

   The City of Big Bear Lake is a four-season resort located in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest, approximately 30 miles northeast of San Bernardino.  The City serves a population of 6,500 residents and covers a 6.95 square mile area on the west end of Big Bear Lake’s south shore.  Recreation is offered year-round, including skiing, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, golf and fine dining.  Visit us at www.citybigbearlake.com.

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….. Have a wonderful weekend ….. Sunday – Rev. Sue Crane to speak at Bear Valley Center for Spiritual Enlightenment …..

PO Box 4045, Big Bear Lake, Ca, 92315                 Bus 909-913-9884                Send questions to PR@bearvalleynews.com