Reducing copy paper purchases for NY state agencies has saved taxpayers $19.6 mill over five years

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Requiring state agencies to adopt “green policies” has saved New York State tax payers $19.6 million over the past five years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Friday.

For the past five years of Cuomo’s administration, state agencies have purchased less copy paper, increased recycling, and incorporated renewable energy systems to become greener- and leaner for taxpayers.

According to a statement from Cuomo’s office, state agencies have made a 35 percent reduction in copy paper purchased since 2011, saving taxpayers $19.6 million.

Other green efforts include:

  • Increasing recycling to 78 percent in FY 15-16 through increased recycling of construction and demolition debris by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Department of Transportation;
  • Generating 67 million kWh of energy through on-site renewable energy installations, enough to power 6,200 homes for one year;
  • Completing the 693kW solar array at Robert Moses State Park in Suffolk County, which will generate as much electricity as the park consumes, making it the first-ever energy-neutral state park in the U.S.;
  • Increasing the composting of organic material, up 34 percent in FY 15-16 with a 20 percent increase in food scrap composting; an
  • Increasing the purchase of 100 percent, post-consumer recycled content copy paper, which reached 57 percent of all copy paper in FY 15-16, an increase of 35 percent from FY 08-09.

New York State has also finalized new green purchasing specifications for furniture, lighting, and state-funded travel to reduce environmental impact and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Two specifications, food containers and batteries, have been tentatively approved and released for public comment.

“New York is leading the nation by adopting green programs to reduce the environmental impact of government agencies while at the same time, saving money for taxpayers,” Governor Cuomo said.  “By committing ourselves to reducing New York’s carbon footprint we take yet another step toward a cleaner, greener New York.”

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