Highlighted by the passage of Resolution 683-06 in 2006, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners have implemented numerous initiatives and policies designed to help protect the local environment. The Board of Commissioners operates under the strong belief that environmental protection and economic growth are mutually compatible goals, and the Commissioners have pledged to promote sustainable principles in their policy decisions.
Striving to lead by example, Franklin County has instituted the following innovative environmental measures in recent years:
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
- Franklin County Commissioners have approved the installation of the largest solar application in local government in the State of Ohio to be installed on the roof of the 80 E. Fulton Street building. .
- Commissioners have also approved the installation of a "green roof" on the Courthouse Annex located at 410 S. High Street
- Various County agencies have begun to replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lighting.
- County agencies strive to purchase Energy Star energy saving appliances and equipment wherever possible.
- Franklin County offers discounted COTA bus passes for County employees to limit gasoline consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Numerous County agencies use alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles to limit gasoline consumption and reduce dangerous pollutants and emissions.
- The Franklin County Engineer's office has worked with local farmers to leave cornstalks standing in order to create natural snow fences. These natural snow fences help to minimize snow-drifting along County roadways, thereby reducing the need to plow these roads and lessening the need to use salt or other harsh chemicals to combat snow accumulation on the roadways. .
- In order to reduce the quantity of tires going to landfills, the Franklin County Engineer's Office utilizes scrap tires in conjunction with normal asphalt materials to create an enhanced pavement material for roadways.
- Traffic lights under the jurisdiction of the Franklin County Engineer use high-efficiency LED lights, which consume less energy and are expected to have a longer lifespan than incandescent lights.
- Antifreeze removed from many County vehicles is recycled in order to be re-used.
Materials Conservation and Recycling
- The County's Blue Bag Recycling Program encourages County employees and the public to recycle glass, aluminum, and plastic items.
- County agencies recycle used IT equipment at the end of its lifespan to keep it out of our landfills.
- Franklin County's 'Paper Usage and Conservation Policy' requires all Commissioner Agencies to purchase paper that contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content. The policy also encourages two-sided printing and copying, greater recycling of used paper, and a preference for the electronic transmission of documents when possible to reduce paper consumption. .
- Waste oil is removed from some County vehicles to help operate building heating systems in order to limit the use of natural gas for winter heating.
- Franklin County Job & Family Services uses janitorial paper products that are biodegradable, and all paper towels and toilet paper are Green Seal Certified (made from 100% recovered paper fiber).
- The new Franklin County Courthouse building is designed to be certified LEED Silver upon its completion in 2010. This building will be the first LEED certified courthouse in the State of Ohio.
- Franklin County Children Services utilizes low VOC (volatile organic chemicals) paints that help to reduce fumes entering the atmosphere.
- Franklin County Job & Family Services has installed recyclable carpeting in several of its Opportunity Centers.
Green/Universal Design Housing Standards
- In 2009, Franklin County and the City of Columbus created and adopted the AWARE (Accessibility, Water Conservation, Air Quality, Resource Conscious, Energy-Efficient) Manual to be the performance standard for all federally funded residential projects in these jurisdictions. The AWARE Manual was modeled after the Enterprise Green Communities criteria, and is designed to bring quality housing to Franklin County and Columbus that is healthy, accessible, and environmentally friendly, to provide truly affordable housing opportunities for its residents.
- AWARE Manual
- AWARE Summary
- Franklin County Board of Commissioners host a 'Green Fair' annually in April to help educate employees, members of the public, and local businesses about how to be more environmentally friendly.
- Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department received a Conservation Stewardship Award from Franklin Soil and Water in recognition of the County's commitment to the development and implementation of riparian setbacks in the Big Darby Creek watershed. .
- Organic waste at County facilities operated by the Department of Public Facilities Management (PFM) is sent to compost sites and then is reused as soil additives at Franklin County green spaces. The PFM landscape division also uses biodegradable soaps and oils for pest control.
Board of Commissioners Agencies
- Animal Care & Control
- Child Support Enforcement
- Economic Development
- Fleet Management
- Homeland Security
& Justice Programs
- Human Resources