McAllen Mayor Richard F. Cortez will address the economy, job growth, goals for 2010 and McAllen’s “Go Green” efforts at State of the City 2010, Thursday, Jan. 21, at the McAllen Convention Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, themed “McAllen Goes Green—Sustain, Recycle, Conserve,” will highlight ongoing “Go Green” initiatives with video vignettes, live speakers, recycling and hybrid vehicles, displays of items made from recycled material and live native plants and trees. Even the menu is eco friendly with organic foods.

The City of McAllen’s “Go Green” campaign was showcased recently at the National League of Cities Expo in San Antonio. Many of its green projects, spearheaded by Public Works, have also garnered state and national recognition. Some of the programs and events include Save the Greens, the Green Living Festival, Street Recycling, Recycling and Composting Operations, New Demonstration Compost Gardens, and Regional Detention Facilities. Others include a Forestry Program, Glass Pulverizing and Keep McAllen Beautiful’s tree ordinance and plastic bag initiative. The Public Works Department has also purchased the city’s first electric vehicle.

“We recognize that ‘Going Green’ can actually reduce costs and help us attract progressive companies and people to our area,” said Mayor Cortez. “But, we want to do so in cost effective, efficient and sustainable ways, encouraging, not necessarily mandating businesses and residents to take steps to help us become a more environmentally friendly city.”

Other departments, such as Utility Billing and Planning, are also doing their part. These departments are finding ways to reduce paper consumption through e-mail use and by producing and storing files digitally. The McAllen International Airport is also playing a vital role. In 2009, the airport recycled over 43,000 pounds of cardboard and over 28,000 pounds of paper.

At the Palm View Golf Course, city employees are using more organic fertilizers derived from bio-solids, using recycled water for irrigation and also recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum and plastic.

The City of McAllen has several other ongoing “Go Green” projects and has plans to expand its campaign: “McAllen Goes Green—Sustain, Recycle, Conserve.”

Guests of State of the City 2010 will receive green action cards with tips on going green at home and at work. They are also invited to the 4th Annual RGV Urban Forestry Conference running concurrently with State of the City. The $40 registration fee for the RGV Urban Forestry Conference will be waived in lieu of a donation.

For more information or to purchase tickets for State of the City 2010, call the City of McAllen at 956-681-1002.