Skip to main content
Back to City of Mobile Homepage

Sustainable Mobile

The City of Mobile is committed to recycling as a part of being the most business and family friendly city in America. 

In the fall of 2021, the City of Mobile hired the University of South Alabama Polling Group to survey residents to determine their willingness to recycle as well as their reasons for not recycling. The overwhelming response was that 90% of respondents see recycling as somewhat (20%) or very important (70%). 56% of the respondents stated that they currently recycle. The top reasons for not recycling are lack of convenient access (60%) and lack of information (47%). One additional note from the survey is that 62% would be interested in curbside recycling. 

After learning what our community members want, we applied for funding from the ADEM’s Alabama Recycling Fund Grant program to do the following: 1) expand our existing drop-off recycling program; 2) undertake a Mobile County-wide study of the opportunities available to expand recycling for all Mobilians; and 3) create an education/marketing program to promote recycling.

The City of Mobile leveraged $190,000 from the ADEM Recycling Grant plus
additional funds from the City’s general fund to add a 3 Single Stream Drop Off
Recycling Centers in Mobile. You can find all the details about where and what to
recycle HERE.

The County-Wide Feasibility Study is here. The City of Mobile decided to focus on
these efforts:

And with special thanks to The Recycling Partnership and their partners, American
Beverage Association, Alabama Beverage Association, every City of Mobile citizen
will receive information about when, where, and what to recycle.

Glass - Glass is infinitely recyclable, but the City of Mobile has made a decision to stop allowing it to be
added to the Single Stream Recycling Program. Cost, environmental impact, and recyclability impacts are
all included in the reasoning.

1) Cost: The City pays a per ton fee for our recycling. As the heaviest material collected at the city’s
recycling center, glass is the largest driver of the costs associated with sending recyclable
materials to Pensacola.
2) Environmental Impact: The nearest glass processor is just outside of Atlanta — more than 300
miles away. Carrying this heavy load over hundreds of miles means we can be running at cross
3) Recyclability: Glass also wreaks havoc when it is in a single-stream compactor. Broken glass
breaks down conveyor belts and is difficult for the people sorting and separating recyclables. In
some rare cases, the inability to separate small pieces of glass can cause an entire load of
recyclable material to be thrown out.

Options -- The Mobile County Recycling Center on Hitt Road has and will continue to collect glass.
It is also in the process of purchasing a glass crusher to make the glass into usable products locally.
We encourage you to take them your glass. We will also continue to review this decision. If new glass
processors come into our area, or we can develop another way to collect the glass, we will be ready to
reopen the opportunity.


Energy Conservation

The most obvious reason to cut back on energy consumption is to save
money! Using less energy also reduces carbon emissions that play a significant role
in climate change, produces a higher quality of life, cleaner air quality, and an
overall healthier planet.

These are great tools for how to reduce your energy consumption.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy generated from natural
processes that are continuously replenished. Sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides,
water, and various forms of biomass all provide energy and the source cannot be
exhausted and is constantly renewed.

Solar panels can be added to your home, even in historic districts, to increase your
renewable energy use and decrease less sustainable energy. Talk to your energy
provider and companies that sell renewable energy to find out if this is a good
option for your family or your business.

The U.S. population has doubled over the past 50 years, while water usage has tripled. Recent droughts have emphasized the importance of conserving water with models projecting water shortages in at least 40 states by 2024. While the City of Mobile remains the city with the most rainfall in North America (65-67 inches), conservation of fresh, clean water is important.

By practicing some of the water-saving tips listed below, each of us can do our part to ensure an adequate supply of fresh water for ourselves and future generations. Conserving water not only helps save water supplies, but it also can save you money.

The following information provides general suggestions and ideas to use water, both indoors and outdoors, as efficiently as possible.


  • Use low-flow toilets.
  • Use flow aerators on faucets.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Use your dishwater and clothes washer only when you have a full load.
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat and other frozen foods.
  • Don’t let the water run while shaving, brushing your teeth, or washing your face.


  • Water your lawn only when necessary. It takes 660 gallons of water to supply 1,000 square feet of lawn with 1 inch of water. (This is almost the same amount as you use inside the house in an entire week.) As a general rule, established lawns do not need to be watered more often than every five to seven days.
  • Water lawns early in the morning when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest.
  • Don’t allow sprinklers to water your street, driveway, or sidewalk.
  • During dry weather, raise the height of your mower so that you are cutting grass at the highest recommended height. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water.
  • Use mulch around trees and shrubs and in garden beds to retain moisture in the soil.
  • Do not use the hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose so that water flows only as needed.
  • Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended.
  • If you wash your car, park it on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

We are a city that drives and loves our cars. How we grow needs to encourage changes to that while honoring our culture and lifestyle. The City of Mobile will be developing a path to add electric vehicles to our fleet to help lead the way for our community and to test the range, longevity, maintenance requirements, and curb appeal for our staff.

Compared to driving cars, public transportation is incredibly sustainable, but only 5% of working people utilize public transit systems. Instead, they use their own vehicles to commute to and from their jobs. Understanding the benefits of sustainable transportation may encourage workers to utilize it. Whether it be your health, the Earth, the community, or your wallet, sustainable transit is better for them all. Mobile’s Wave Transit will become more mainstream as the number of riders increases, allowing systems to expand and create an even greater impact.

  • WAVE Transit provides bus and transportation for the City of Mobile. Find more information, including routes and schedules – It’s easier than you think!
  • The City is building Bike and Walking trails across the City to connect neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. Check out Three Mile Creek Greenway Trail and a host of additional trails Here.
  • Electric Vehicles are the next path forward. The City of Mobile hosts Electric Car Charging stations all over downtown Mobile and we are creating a plan to electrify a portion of our fleet over the next few years.