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Rancho Mirage goes Green

Below is a list of the City of Rancho Mirage Environmental Programs which can be found on there website at :

Isn’t it time you consider making the change in your own home?  Ask Chris Nelson, Peak Construction & Design how to upgrade your home to a Green Home.  Call us today at 760 668 3991.


General Conservation


  • Rancho Mirage has approved at least five (5) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, including office buildings, apartment buildings, and the first LEED certified retail commercial center to be built in the Coachella Valley.
  • Rancho Mirage’s Conservation and Open Space Element of the General Plan promotes the conservation, efficient use and thoughtful management of energy sources and mineral deposits as well as the long-term viability of limited and non renewable resources.
  • Rancho Mirage’s Draft Section 19 Specific Plan includes Green Builder guidelines and development incentives.
  • The City features environmental information and recycling opportunities in its quarterly newsletter, MirageScape.
  • Approximately 33 restaurants are participating in the City’s food waste program. This program is diverting tonnage that would otherwise go to the landfill. The food waste is mixed with green waste at California Bio-Mass in Thermal and recycled into agricultural products.
  • Recycling at Rancho Mirage special events has increased. The City provides and places recycling containers at all special events in order to capture beverage container recycling. The City also ensures that all cardboard is recycled and even stations someone at the containers to ensure that all items that can be recycled are recycled.


Energy Conservation

  • Consultants constantly monitor and adjust, via the internet, both City Hall and Library HVAC (heating/ventilating/air conditioning) systems in order to save energy and operate efficiently. All City facilities have been upgraded with energy efficient lighting and upgrades to building HVAC equipment and software.
  • Rancho Mirage promotes energy efficiency and conservation in all areas of community development, including transportation, development planning, and public and private sector construction and operation, as well as in the full range of residential and non-residential projects.
  • Rancho Mirage’s use of 26 watt fluorescent lighting fixtures as opposed to 150 watt incandescent bulbs in Citywide landscaping lighting has reduced energy consumption. The City also uses fluorescent lighting in all City facilities to further reduce energy consumption.
  • Rancho Mirage was the first City in the Coachella Valley to convert its traffic signals from incandescent lamps to LED lamps, which was done in 1999. The City’s use of LED (light emitting diode) traffic and pedestrian signal indicators as opposed to incandescent lighting has reduced energy consumption by 66%.
  • The City supports public and private efforts to develop and operate alternative systems of solar and electric production that take advantage of local renewable resources.
  • Rancho Mirage evaluates all new proposed projects for solar protection in order to reduce heat gain and promote energy conservation (overhangs on window and doors).
  • Rancho Mirage was the first City in the Palm Springs Valley to be a Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) jurisdiction.
  • The City of Rancho Mirage Public Library, which opened in 2006, was designed with an HVAC (heating/ventilating/ air conditioning) system that uses four air handlers to efficiently balance the energy requirements for the building to conserve energy. A new “chiller” for the HVAC system (funded by a grant) was installed in 2010 and increased energy savings at the library.

Water Conservation

  • The City sponsors programmable irrigation clocks offered by the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) allowing residents to participate in water savings program at no cost. For Fiscal Year 2011-12, the City is partnering with CVWD on a turf replacement program where residents will get rebates from CVWD and the City for replacing turf with desert scape landscaping.
  • The City has replaced all old analog irrigation controllers with digital timers resulting in conservation of water.
  • Rancho Mirage has converted high water landscaping to drought tolerate desert landscaping on all median islands, parkways and municipal properties.  The new drought tolerant landscape designs have reduced maintenance, electric and water consumption costs.
  • The City provides a free residential Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) service to all residents. Residents can call and make an appointment to dispose of any HHW. The HHW is properly collected and disposed of by a licensed service company, which prevents it from entering the water table.
  • The City contributes to, and participates in, the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s (CVAG) used motor oil and filter collection and recycling program as well as a tire recycling program.
  • The City keeps its catch basins clean and maintains an aggressive street sweeping program which allows for the unabated flow and non-contamination of storm and other runoff water.
  • The City routinely tests for water pollutants in its catch basins per Title 7 of the RMMC.
  • All proposed projects submitted to the City are reviewed for potential adverse effects on water quality.  (Title 17 of the Municipal Code).
  • Newer City projects, such as the library, have been designed and constructed with drought tolerate desert landscaping in order to conserve water.

Air Quality

  • Rancho Mirage purchases CNG (compressed natural gas) or ELEV (extremely low emitting vehicles) vehicles in order to reduce vehicle emissions.  In addition, through a grant, Rancho Mirage has purchased two hybrid vehicles which are used for travel around the Palm Springs Valley.
  • The City promotes energy management and conservation efforts of the Sunline Transit Authority and encourages the expanded use of compressed natural gas and hydrogen, buses with bike racks, and other system improvements that enhance overall energy efficiency and conservation. (Bus stops with solar panels).
  • Rancho Mirage promotes the development of pedestrian-oriented retail centers, as well as community-wide multi-use trails, bike paths and other desirable alternatives to motor vehicles.  The City maintains a network of equestrian and pedestrian trails as well as bike and cart paths which provide the infrastructure for alternate methods of transportation to motor vehicles (Map on the website).  Rancho Mirage has 23 miles of Class I meandering bike paths behind curb paths and nine miles of striped Class II on street bike lanes. All major arterials will someday have both Class I paths and Class II bike lanes.
  • Rancho Mirage enforces compliance with all applicable SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District) requirements throughout the City. Additionally, the City utilizes its water truck to maintain PM10 (airborne particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter) compliance on all public properties.
  • All proposed projects are reviewed by the City for potential adverse effects on air quality.

Wildlife Conservation

  • The City encourages the use of naturally occurring desert plant materials and discourages the use of non-native plant materials that are harmful to local plant and animal species in landscaping for development projects to the greatest extent possible.
  • The City built (1999-2000) and maintains the Bighorn Sheep Habitat Safety Fence which has resulted in the complete elimination of endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep deaths due to urbanization.
  • The City contracts with the Bighorn Institute (BI) annually to provide input to the City as to how best assist the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep that reside in the mountains adjacent to Rancho Mirage. The BI inspects the bighorn sheep fence on a monthly basis and does minor maintenance. They also provide a quarterly report to the City on the health of the bighorn sheep.
  • The City built and maintains a “guzzler” (artificial spring) for the bighorn sheep and other wildlife in the Preserve area in the hills south of Highway 111 near City Hall.

Environmental Conservation

  • Use of rubberized asphalt as overlay material on City streets makes use of recycled used tires per AB 939 regulations.
  • The City’s new library utilizes recycled rubber tiles in the Children’s Room as opposed to carpeting or some other surface material.
  • City Street Maintenance staff collects debris on and along the City’s streets. Trash is properly disposed of and tires or recyclable items, such as wood, metal or green waste, are transported to permitted recycling facilities for processing.
  • The City offers cash incentives to contractors building City facilities. These incentives are based on the percentage of solid waste diversion achieved. As an example, during construction of the Library, over 87% of all construction debris was recycled, due in part to the recycling incentive program.
  • The City encourages the reduction and recycling of household and business waste by incorporating conditions of approval that require recycling during project construction and recycling facilities be designed into all proposed projects.
  • The City supports Riverside County’s Backyard Composting Programs.
  • The City operates a Business Waste Reduction Program. City staff or its consultants are available to assist businesses in utilizing internal source reduction practices, such as reusing packaging material (i.e. pallets and shipping crates).
  • The City has a “Buy Recycled Procurement Policy” and a “Government Source Reduction Program” which require the use of vendors that offer supplies with recycled content and the use of two sided copies, durable plates, mugs and electronic file storage.
  • In 2006, the City passed an ordinance requiring all construction and demolition sites to recycle all recyclable materials on-site.  Ordinance #918 (Title 17 of the RMMC) has resulted in approximately 28,000 tons per year of materials being recycled.
  • The City requires all new commercial and residential projects to provide sufficient space within and outside any proposed building to properly accommodate recycling containers in conjunction with our service provide Burrtec Waste and Recycling.
  • The City operates a residential curbside commingled (metal, plastic, aluminum, paper, cardboard) recycling program. Residential neighborhoods, through the use of wheeled carts, recycle commingled items.
  • The City maintains a Residential Recyclable Drop-Off Program where residents can bring commingled (metal, plastic, aluminum, paper, cardboard) recyclables to the City’s franchise trash haulers yard for recycling. Additionally, the City requires its franchise hauler (Burrtec) to operate a Buyback Center at which residents can turn in eligible recyclables for cash. Some shopping centers in the city also have recycling facilities for their tenants and the zoning code has requirements for other commercial recycling facilities (Section 17.30.180 RMMC).
  • The City requires Burrtec to accept and recycle, at no charge, any residential green waste delivered to the franchise hauler’s yard by any Rancho Mirage resident.
  • The City requires Burrtec to provide a commercial on-site recycling program. Cardboard and commingled recyclables are collected and recycled.
  • The City operates commingled and cardboard recycling programs at all City facilities including City Hall, Library, Fire Stations, Public Works Yard, all Rancho Mirage owned senior housing facilities and all City parks.
  • The City ensures that all special events within the City recycle to the greatest extent possible. The Kraft Nabisco Championship, for example, recycles about 4 tons of cardboard and tens of thousands of beverage containers every year. Recycling containers for beverage containers are provided by the City through grant funds.
  • During the holiday season, the City conditions Burrtec to provide holiday greenery recycling. All residents can have their holiday trees or other greenery picked up on their normal solid waste service day. All greenery is recycled. Additionally, the City provides a program for residents to recycle holiday wrapping paper and cards. The collected paper is reused by local students in art programs.
  • The City regulates and monitors green waste hauled by commercial haulers from Rancho Mirage.
  • In Fiscal Year 2011-12, the City and Burrtec kicked off a no-charge curbside pickup of bulky items to its residents. Residents who make an appointment may have bulky items picked up on their regular recycling/trash day at no charge.
  • The City provides children’s programs designed to increase recycling awareness. Two examples of this are the annual children’s recycling program where children create art from recycled materials and the attendance of the “Rad Hatter” at the Art Affaire. The Rad Hatter raises children’s recycling awareness by allowing children to construct hats from recycled materials.
  • The City continues to make available free technical recycling services to all businesses, schools and homeowner associations in Rancho Mirage. The City also contracts with a consultant to monitor construction and demolition recycling activities.
  • The City produces various recycling promotion pieces throughout the year that are available at City facilities (City Hall and Library) and/or mailed to residents and businesses. Examples include recycling wheels (which detail what can go in a commingled container), Construction and Demolition Handbooks (booklets that inform contractors what local facilities are available for construction and demolition recycling) and various other commercial and residential brochures promoting recycling.
  • The City provides a free sharps or needle disposal service. Residents can properly dispose of their medical needles through the mail.
  • The City offers a free electronic waste disposal service to its residents. Residents can property dispose of electronic waste. All collected electronic waste is recycled.
  • The City provides free battery collection. Battery collection buckets are located at all City facilities (including the Fire Stations) for recycling of household batteries.
  • The City holds quarterly document shredding events for its residents. All collected documents are shredded and the resulting material is recycled. These events also allow residents to drop off e-waste (electronic) at the same time.


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The Official Web Site for the City of Rancho Mirage
Rancho Mirage City Hall
69-825 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Phone: (760) 324-4511 | Fax: (760) 324-8830
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
CHRIS NELSON, Peak Construction & Design is a custom and new home builder, house renovation and home remodeling company. We are California licensed general contractors servicing Southern California and the communities  including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, La Quinta, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, La Canada and La Crescenta, Califonia. Please call CHRIS NELSON today!  760.668.3991

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