By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

As a multi-city sustainability project begins to gain momentum, attendees at a public meeting in Copperas Cove Monday were briefed on the five community wide partnerships, with the implementation of a regional recycling program as a central concern.

Randy Doyle, superintendent of the Environment Support Team at Fort Hood, presented the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership that focuses on the sustaining the environment, and the economy and quality of life for residents in the region. Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Killeen and Gatesville are all a part of the program.

"We can do more together than individually," Doyle said.

"Sustainability is a culture change. Sustaining our present for the future."

Doyle said the partnership will help reduce consumption of water, energy, fuel and help increase recycling and reuse efforts.

In addition, Doyle said Col. Bill Hill, garrison commander, would like to have a bike path that stretches from Harker Heights to Copperas Cove.

Though no actions have been taken by the communitywide partnership as a whole,

Copperas Cove has begun implementing sustainability practices.

City Manager Andrea Gardner said the city has a goal to be paperless by 2020, and to reduce utility usage by 2.5 percent every year.

The city has began soft starts at the wastewater treatment plant that will bring equipment to full capacity over a period of time versus right away.

All new structures will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system standards.

In an earlier interview, Gardner said she hopes to increase recycling in the city and gain support to begin a regional recycling program.

Doyle also mentioned a regional recycling program.

"Why can't we do a regional recycling and share the profits?" Doyle said.

Right now the partnership has just the five members cities, but Doyle said as it grows other area communities will be invited to join.

Doyle said goals for the partnership will be set at a three-day conference Jan. 27 through 29 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center where Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, Ks., is scheduled to speak.

The city was devastated by a tornado in 2007.

As residents began to rebuild the city, all structures were built according to LEED standards and energy is harnessed through solar and wind power.

Contact Alicia Lacy at or (254) 501-7476.

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