Green Dollars and Cents

Here is what is going on in our general area with respect to green projects that have economic impact through cost savings, job creation or conservation. How can mother nature be used to save money and generate jobs? Are there things that can be done to reduce taxes?


The benefits to recycling are many. Since recycled materials do not go to the landfills, the size and number of landfills is reduced. Landfills are extremely costly to site, get permitted (by the government), build and maintain. Depending upon the material recycled there are varying benefits including energy cost savings, resource conservation, and reduced pollution. In Forsyth county Advanced Disposal runs the Eagle Point landfill and provided recycling services.

The following link provides some interesting facts. Recycling Facts

Geothermal Energy

Mother nature can lend a hand with energy cost savings through use of geothermal heat pumps. They are similar to ordinary heat pumps that use the outside air as a heat source or heat sink. However, they are much more efficient because they use subsurface earth (6 feet or deeper) which maintains a relatively constant temperature of 57 degrees.

Cobb County is implementing this technology at East Side Elementary and expects to save $40,000.00 per year on electric bills. It has been installed at Woodward Academy and Mount Vernon Presbyterian with savings in electricity costs that paid for the systems in five to six years.

Solar Energy

Solar Energy USA, headquarters located in a south Forsyth office park runs its entire headquarters on solar energy. They are also installing one of their solar powered electric vehicle charging stations at this location. They have installed a solar energy system for another another south Forsyth business to provide power for their data center. Here we have both energy costs savings and as well as jobs.

Habitat for Humanity has built a house on Union Hill road which is the first solar home that they have built in Georgia.

Lanier Tech has installed educational photovoltaic and thermal solar systems at three locations including the Forsyth campus.


Algae Energy Inc., a local subsidiary of a biofuel company expands in Cumming. They fabricate systems for growing and converting algae into biofuel. These units are shipped to other parts of the world - no fuel production here. The algae grow in water, are fed carbon dioxide from an industrial source such as a power plant, and solar arrays are used capture light for photosynthesis. Advantages or benefits of this business are jobs, reduced CO2 emissions, and a renewable fuel source.

Stream and Wetland Restoration

Streams that are properly structured are vital in controlling storm water runoff and erosion. They also provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and are a key element in maintaining healthy wetlands. When not functioning properly, (for a number of reasons) the results can be costly erosion, damaging floods and loss of wildlife habitat. Engineering303, an environmental and consulting firm located in Cumming has been engaged in many projects, large and small to restore streams and wetlands to their maximum capabilities.

Green/Vegetated Roofs

Atlanta is one of the top 10 cities in the US for green roofs. Atlanta City Hall and the Woodruff Art Center are a couple of examples. Reduced heating/cooling costs can be gained by using a green roof rather than traditional type roofs for both office or commercial type buildings as well as homes. Additional advantages include controlling storm water runoff, air pollution reduction, habitats for birds, heat island reduction, and reduces water pollution. Located in south Forsyth, ItSaul Plants sells soils engineered for rooftop plantings. They own ItSaul Natural, which manufactures the engineered soils in Dawson county.