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Happy Earth Day! Mayor Brown applies for Buffalo to become a designated Climate Smart City.

As part of Buffalo’s tribute to Earth Day, Mayor Byron Brown is making a bid for the city to be designated as a Climate Smart City. Brown has introduced a resolution to the Buffalo Common Council, thus initiating the process. Ultimately, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will award Buffalo with the distinguished designation, if the City is able to meet certain criteria that it is doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint, while enacting climate friendly policies. 

If Buffalo can manage to become a Climate Smart Community, the City will be eligible for additional categories of State and private philanthropic funding, which would allow for further development in environmental programming and initiatives. 

“Protecting our environment and working to prevent the most severe consequences of global climate change are the most critical challenges society faces today. Absent leadership from the federal government, it therefore falls to states and local governments to step up and do the work that will confront these issues head on,” Mayor Brown said. “I am proud that my Administration is acting on climate protection and resiliency and we will continue our efforts to make Buffalo a climate refuge City.”

The City will be expanding the Food Waste Scrap Drop off to five locations across Buffalo.

The City is hoping to be granted the designation in bronze level of certification, which would then make it eligible for New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) resources. The designation would also open valuable doors, including access to technical assistance from the State, as well as funding from a number of philanthropic organizations. Mayor Brown has also committed to forming a Climate Smart Community Advisory Committee that will push Buffalo even further towards becoming a greener city (in its search for silver and gold level certifications in years to come). 

“The City is celebrating Earth Day today with a renewal of my Administration’s ongoing efforts to have Buffalo play a role in the fight to protect our planet,” Mayor Brown said. “Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is pursuing one of the most aggressive climate action plans in the nation and I am proud to be his partner in this.”

Mayor Brown points to recycling efforts in recent years as just one of the ways that the city is pushing the eco-friendly envelope.

  • City’s 34andMore recycling rate increased to 29.3 percent in 2018, nearly double the 15.9 percent rate when the city switched to single stream curbside recycling in 2012.
  • The 2018 recycling rate of 29.3 percent was also an improvement over the 28.3 percent rate in 2017.  Also in 2018, a total of 16,950 tons of recyclable materials were collected, an increase of 346 tons over 2017.

Remaining events on the City’s Earth Month calendar include:

April 22Earth Day 2019 (50th Anniversary of the world largest environmental movement to fight plastic pollution). The historic dome of Buffalo City Hall will be lit GREEN to mark Earth Day.

April 25 — 1 p.m. — Annual Arbor Day Ceremonial Tree Planting, Mayor Brown will plant a Flowering Crabapple Tree along Court St., behind City Hall.

April 27 – 9 a.m. to Noon — 34andMore Community Shredding Event, a free opportunity to safely dispose of household/personal documents, St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St.

Other upcoming environmental opportunities and events:

May 3Deadline to order rain barrels and compost bins through the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning. For order forms and pricing information visit:

May 10 – Application deadline for City of Buffalo Environmental Champions Program.

May 11 – Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Spring Shoreline Sweep, clean-up for more than 50 sites across Erie and Niagara County, including 15 sites in the City of Buffalo. Pre-registration is required.  To sign up visit:

Lead image: NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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