Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable approaches to providing local government services help to ensure a higher quality of life for future generations. True to its mission, Naperville’s sustainability successes have largely been achieved through many partnerships with organizations, businesses and residents. Likewise, a willingness to pursue innovative sustainable solutions has repeatedly resulted in cost efficiencies in line with the City’s sound fiscal management philosophy.

Sustainability Workplan

In August 2021, the Naperville City Council approved a Sustainability Workplan.  A collaborative effort between City staff and the Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force, the Workplan will organize and guide the City’s work toward a more sustainable and resilient Naperville.

Sustainability Workplan

Rain Barrels

Have you ever thought about a rain barrel to provide a free irrigation option? Rain barrels are used to capture rainwater from your roof for reuse in watering garden spaces. Rainwater is better for plants and soil because it is free from the salts, ions and fluoride found in tap water. Just as importantly, rain barrels capture water that  otherwise would run off and could harm streams and rivers.

To order a rain barrel for pick-up or delivery, visit Upcycle Products.

Order Your Own Rain Barrel

Fall Gardening Tips

For more information, visit The Morton Arboretum at www.mortonarb.org.


  • Fall is a great time to prepare for a new flower bed.
    Turn soil and amend if necessary. Freezing and thawing over winter makes soil more friable.
  • Rake fallen leaves and compost or shred with lawnmower and place around landscape plants.
    Discard diseased leaves, twigs, and fruits.
  • Plant hardy, spring-flowering bulbs outside until the ground freezes.
  • Start spring bulbs in containers inside so you can enjoy a little bit of spring in February.
  • Water landscape plants deeply, especially evergreens, before the ground freezes.
  • Cut back foliage of perennials to the ground after a few hard freezes.
    Leave unusual seed heads and ornamental grasses for winter interest.
  • Apply winter mulch to perennials and roses after a hard frost and as the ground begins to freeze.
  • Drain and store garden hoses.
  • Store garden chemicals in an area above 40°F.
    Keep out of reach of children and animals.
  • Construct a cylinder of hardware cloth, chicken wire, or fencing around plants to protect against rabbit, mice, and deer that damage the bark and twigs of plants.

Pollination Station in June

Pollination Station

The City of Naperville is proud to have planted a pollination station in a plot of land above the east entrance to the lower level of the Municipal Center. This garden features a variety of native plant species that can offer a habitat for butterflies and other pollinators. This demonstration garden is a way to educate our community about the benefits of alternate landscaping options and inspire community members to learn more about this type of gardening.

Learn about Naperville's Pollination Station

Register your pollinator garden

Do you have a pollinator garden? Register your pollinator garden and upload a photo at the Pollinator Partnership Million Pollinator Garden Challenge website at https://www.pollinator.org/mpgcmap/register#form.

Earn a certification for your garden

The Conservation Foundation offers two certifications that gardeners can strive to achieve: Conservation@Home and Conservation@Work. Gardeners who meet the standards can be recognized for different plantings and practices. The residents or businesses who get certified will receive a Conservation@Home or Conservation@Work sign to place on their property for recognition of their good environmental stewardship and conservation.

Smart Thermostat Rebate

Naperville's Electric Utility is offering a $50 rebate for residential utility customers when they buy and install any smart thermostat. Visit www.naperville.il.us/thermostatrebate for more information.

Looking for Data?

In 2010, the Naperville City Council approved the Environmental Sustainability Plan. The plan established a long-term vision for environmental sustainability in Naperville and serves as a guide for the city’s actions related to environmental leadership and initiatives.

Since approving the plan, Naperville has implemented a number of initiatives and programs that continue to positively impact the community and environment. The efforts of the City are documented through the City's Open Data Portal.

City of Naperville Receives SolSmart Designation

Have you considered installing solar panels? The City of Naperville is participating in the SolSmart Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, which helps local governments reduce barriers to solar energy growth and makes it easier for homes and businesses to go solar. In 2019, the City worked with 20 other communities in the region in pursuit of SolSmart status, and on May 9, 2019, the City was pleased to receive SolSmart Silver designation.

The City of Naperville received silver level SolSmart designation on May 9, 2019.

The City of Naperville is happy to assist you by offering a streamlined permitting process and information for your consideration. 

Visit Our Solar Landing Page

City Received the Governor's Sustainability Award

Governor's Sustainability Award In November 2016, the City was one of 25 public and private organizations honored with the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for its Citywide environmental sustainability efforts. Praised sustainability practices included successful and ongoing completion of 46 goals in the City’s 2010 Sustainability Plan and specific projects including the Water Leak Detection Survey, the new Household Hazardous Waste Facility that opened in early 2015, the Recycling Cart Program, the Emerald Ash Borer treatment program and the City’s plans to construct a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, which opened in late 2020. 

A Beautiful Yard without Pesticides

Studies show that use of lawn chemicals can have environmental ramifications, especially for children. The chemicals potentially can contaminate surface and groundwater, affect outdoor and indoor air quality, and threaten the health of pets and wildlife. Have you considered alternative approaches, such as:

  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn to act as a natural fertilizer.
  • Overseed to fill in existing bare spots in the late summer or early fall.  This approach will prevent weeds from taking over these spaces in the spring.
  • Aerate your soil to facilitate healthy grass growth.
  • Keep your mower blade setting at least 2-3 inches tall to allow your grass to developer deeper, more drought-resistant roots.

Have you also considered using native plants in your landscaping? Join the many homeowners who have incorporated native plants into their landscapes to create beautiful outdoor spaces, invite birds and butterflies to their yards, reduce their use of water, fertilizers and pesticides and protect our rivers.

Learn More About Native Plants

Monarch Waystation

The monarch migration is truly one of the world's greatest natural wonders. Did you know that the monarch butterfly is in desperate need of habitats to lay its eggs? The City of Naperville would like to encourage residents to plant monarch waystations in their own backyards. If your monarch habitat meets or exceeds the general description of a Monarch Waystation set forth below, your habitat may be certified by Monarch Watch as a Monarch Waystation. You may also choose to purchase a weatherproof sign to display, identifying your habitat as an official Monarch Waystation. See the Monarch Waystation tips (PDF) for more information.

Visit MonarchWatch.com for more information

Going Green

Looking to green up more than just your cleaning arsenal? Try the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, EWG, that reviews, rates and provides recommendations on everything from cosmetics to food and water filters: http://www.ewg.org/

And finally, what about all that junk in your storage closest, basement or garage? A perfect catch-all for the odds-n-ends questions you might have, www.dupageco.org/recycling. Earth911 also has recycling and sustainability ideas at https://earth911.com.

Earth Day Fair and Earth Week Naperville 2021

More than 400 people attended the 2021 Earth Day Fair that took place Sunday, June 27 at Knoch Knolls Park in Naperville.

The theme was “Restore Our Earth.” This free, family-friendly event included children’s activities, eco-friendly vendors, free LED light bulbs, as well as opportunities to learn about the benefits of native plantings, discover energy-saving items, talk to the experts, and much more.

For more information and to check for updates and volunteer opportunities, visit www.napervilleparks.org/earthweek.

Earth Week Naperville Logo

Holiday Lights Recycling

Holiday lights can be dropped off for recycling at the Electronics Recycling Center Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Accepted lights include mini-lights (Italian lights), C7, C9 rope and LED in all colors and lengths as well as extension cords.

Holiday Lights Recycling Details