City’s first sustainability manager retires after nearly three decades working with Lewisville

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Lisa Weaver celebrates her retirement with Lewisville staff June 30. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

 
Lisa Weaver was preparing to retire in 2014 with the commencement of the Lewisville 2025 plan. But then she had the opportunity to take on the role of sustainability manager, what she called her dream job.

“It’s very motivating and very inspiring work, because I have some natural inherent convictions about the environment and about not wasting and about taking care of where we live,” Weaver said. “I’m not particularly motivated by money or titles, that sort of thing, I’m motivated by feeling like what I’m doing makes a difference.”

Weaver, who worked with Lewisville for 29 years, retired June 30. She said she has so many grandkids and things going on, and with the retirement of her husband, former Fire Captain Tim Weaver, in December, she knew it was time.

City Manager Donna Barron said Weaver grew up in this organization, working in different roles with the City of Lewisville over the years.

“She did a superb job. She was a person I could always depend on to make sure that work was done fully and appropriately,” Barron said. “We are kind of a family. She was a big part of that and someone I could always — whatever you asked her to do, she was willing to step up and do that.”

Barron described Weaver as dedicated. She said the Household Hazardous Waste program, an initiative to keep chemicals and other harmful materials out of landfills and waterways, is one of Weaver’s legacies.

“That was really her baby from the get-go. She took a facility that we had available, and she created that program from scratch,” Barron said.

Weaver said while some regions offer a place for residents to toss their unwanted electronics, chemicals and other hazardous items, nothing was offered like that for Lewisville. Additionally so many materials go into the three landfills Lewisville has, the city was looking for ways to protect the life of the landfills and be good stewards of those properties, she said.

“Household Hazardous Waste collections end up removing those materials from the waste stream that goes to the landfill, and about 50 percent of the materials we collect are recycled in some form or fashion,” Weaver said.

Weaver listed electronics, mercury from light bulbs and thermometers, automotive fluids and lead–acid batteries as substances collected that can be reused in other daily items.

The Lewisville Morning Rotary Club helps the City of Lewisville operate the hazardous waste program and has since the program’s inception in 1999.

Grandchildren, from left, Dahlia, Eden, David and Carter watch Tim “Papaw” Weaver inspect his crew one final time. Next to Carter stands Lisa Weaver and her son Paul Jacob. (Photo by Christina Ulsh)

Former Rotary president John Pokorny said since the program began, they have collected approximately 2 million pounds of material from 20,000 truck beds and car trunks. There have been 144 collection days.

Pokorny said in the beginning, the program only collected four times a year in the parking lot of a church that used to sit where the MCL Grand Theater is now. Weaver said the program started out in a mobile trailer.

Today it serves Lewisville from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month at the Residential Convenience Center, 330 W. Jones St.

“Annually, over six billion tons of this waste is generated from households alone,” the city’s Household Hazardous Waste site says. “Products from a single home might seem insignificant, but when thousands of homes use similar products and dispose them down the drain or in the landfill, the combined effect becomes a major problem.”

Weaver began her city career as a secretary for the Lewisville Fire Department, where she met her husband Tim Weaver. She changed positions within the department several times before becoming an administrative analyst for it.

She was with the fire department for nine years before moving to Public Services and working as an analyst for former Assistant City Manager Steve Bacchus. From there, Weaver transitioned into the environmental programs coordinator position.

After the manifestation of Lewisville 2025, the city began its focus on Big Move No. 9: sustainability. Weaver’s job was reconfigured into sustainability manager to include more responsibilities to hone that focus.

“As the city government, we did not want to request or promote businesses or residents to do things that we weren’t doing ourselves,” Weaver said. “We wanted to be sure that we were being sustainable as an organization.”

Weaver retired after finishing some foundational work in sustainability. While the environmental initiatives are never-ending, she had finished a phase of the work, allowing ease of transition for whoever takes her place in the managing role, she said.

“I knew it would never feel like it was completely finished. It was going to be an ongoing thing,” Weaver said. “June was my anniversary month with the city, so I decided that would be a good time to do it.”

Weaver is currently working on home improvement projects with her husband. When they’re not working on the house, Weaver enjoys time spent with her 10 grandkids, ranging in ages from 6 months to 13 years. She plans to travel when the summer is through as well as spend time in the family boat house on Lewisville Lake.

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