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Franklin County Green Team Wins Conservation Award

Friday, October 18, 2013
Contact: Mary Ann Brouillette
[email protected]
Office: (614) 486-9613
Cell: (614) 370-7683

Hanna Greer-Brown, Public Affairs Director
Franklin County Board of Commissioners
Office: (614) 525-5848
Cell: (614) 374-5429

Last night at the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Meeting, the Franklin County Green Team was presented with the 2013 Conservation Stewardship Award. It is given each year to a business, organization or individual who embodies Franklin Soil and Water’s mission to promote responsible land use decisions for the conservation, protection and improvement of soil and water resources in Franklin County.

The Green Team, a Commissioner initiative, is led by Franklin County Public Facilities Management and includes members from several County departments and agencies. Members have worked to educate Franklin County employees about natural resource issues by holding lunch-and-learn presentations, including two on stormwater and rain barrel use; putting tips on the County Web portal; and sponsoring outreach events throughout the year. The Green Team has worked tirelessly to increase recycling throughout county facilities, especially in the courthouse, but also in facilities across the county, such as the Franklin County Corrections Centers, Children Services and Fleet Management.

In addition to the blue-bag recycling program for cans and bottles, the Green Team promotes paper and cardboard recycling, and has held a public e-waste recycling event in partnership with Goodwill the last two years. The Green Team, working with AVI and Eartha, has recently launched organics recycling, which is sending food scraps and compostable paper products for composting, in the courthouse cafeteria. The program began with kitchen food-prep scraps and will soon roll-out recycling for all organic waste generated in the cafeteria. In the first month of composting just the food-prep scraps, the Green Team has diverted a ton of organics from the landfill.

This last achievement is truly remarkable. Except in municipalities that have curbside organics recycling, the vast majority of Ohio public facilities with organics recycling are sports arenas, university facilities or university sports arenas. This project will educate not just county employees about the cost-effectiveness of waste stream diversion, but all Franklin County residents who visit the courthouse cafeteria.

“The Franklin County Commissioners continue to be committed to the mutually compatible goals of environmental protection and economic growth,” said Franklin County Commission President John O’Grady. “The Green Team has been integral to this commitment by creating, implementing and promoting sustainable principles and programs. Their accomplishments include a comprehensive and robust internal recycling program and a pair of successful community e-waste collection drives. Currently, they are taking on the task of making our courthouse cafeteria a zero-waste operation.”

Erik Janas, Deputy County Administrator for Regional Collaboration, accepted the Conservation Stewardship Award on behalf of the Franklin County Commissioners, the Public Facilities Management team, and all the Green Team members.