Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement

Protecting the natural resources that make our community beautiful and preserving them for future generations is just as important as things like promoting economic growth and operating a responsive local government. The commissioners are committed to providing good stewardship of the environment as well as management practices that will help ensure that our beautiful community stays that way for many years to come.

Community Partner: Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

The commissioners also partner very closely with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), which is the regional council for nearly 90 local communities and regional partners, facilitating collaboration on planning for a sustainable and prosperous future in Franklin County.

    MORPC supports our region by:
  • Convening local governments to plan, prioritize, and advance strategic transportation and infrastructure investments.
  • Providing data tools, insights, and technical assistance for sustainability programs, growth planning, residential services, and shared solutions.
  • Engaging Central Ohio’s community leaders and residents on public policy.

2023 MORPC Stats:


households provided home energy-efficiency services.


homeowners assisted with home repair services.


grants secured to expand passenger rail service.

$1 Million+

in grants awarded to complete a Safety Action Plan for Central Ohio.

Our work prioritizes housing initiatives that preserve existing housing and addresses critical social determinants of health in our neighborhoods... These programs don’t just make financial sense; they help make the region healthier for all.

~ William Murdock, Executive Director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Community Partner: Public Facilities Management

The commissioners’ Public Facilities Management (PFM) agency oversees the maintenance and administration of 40 county buildings to support not only county staff but also the residents who visit our facilities for services. This year, PFM absorbed a large number of employees who were previously contract workers tasked with housekeeping and cleaning county buildings. The department also hired more than 100 new staff through expanded hiring opportunities such as from the Family Stabilization Unit, Office of Justice Policy and Programs, the Ohio Reformatory for Women, Service! Relief for Hospitality Workers, and multiple County Futures and other on-the-spot hiring fairs.

Five county buildings are LEED certified, which is a recognition that they were constructed using methods and materials that help save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people to live and work. Two are LEED-Gold certified and three are LEED Silver-certified, and PFM also took the lead this year in beginning construction for a new $60 million ADAMH Crisis Care Center, which is slated to open in 2025 and also aiming for LEED certification.

LEED certified

Agency Partner: Fleet Management

One of the county’s smallest agencies, with fewer than a dozen team members, the commissioners’ Fleet Management department also works to safeguard the environment while keeping county government moving forward by looking after its fleet of more than 500 vehicles.

One hundred and forty of those are alternative fuel vehicles, a nearly -10% increase from last year.

2023 Fleet Management Stats:


miles driven by county vehicles.


oil changes.


gallons of fuel provided.


tires replaced.


alternative fuel stations.

Utilizing Alternative Energy – a look at the county’s fleet:

66 - Flex fuel or E85
2 - All electric
47 - Hybrid
3 - Biodiesel
20 - Plug in Hybrid
2 - Propane

Community Partner: Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District

Another valued partner that helps the commissioners protect and preserve our community’s natural resources is the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, which was founded more than 70 years ago to educate residents about conservation and promote responsible land-use decisions. Franklin Soil and Water teaches local students how to be good environmental stewards, and the agency provides hundreds of construction site inspections annually to reduce sediment and other harmful runoff.

2023 Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District Stats:


native trees and shrubs distributed to increase climate resiliency and create habitat.


students reached with educational presentations and hands-on activities on stormwater, water quality, soils, and erosion.


reimbursed to county residents for the purchase of rain barrels, compost bins, and native plants.


stormwater compliance inspections performed.


conservation easement inspections performed, protecting 556 acres of land.

Program Highlight: Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant

This year, the commissioners’ Economic Development and Planning department provided $166,667 to Franklin Soil and Water to support the creation of a new Franklin County Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure grant program, which makes funding available to small for-profit urban farms and non-profit community gardens. The grants support initiatives to strengthen the local food supply chain, increase food crop production, and accelerate the ability of growers to scale up their operations, with a particular focus on supporting local farmers who have traditionally been socially disadvantaged, such as women, immigrants, and refugees. Forty-three grantees, each farming less than five acres, received a total of more than $500,000 in funding.

Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant

Community Partner: Department of Sanitary Engineering

The commissioners’ Department of Sanitary Engineering provides safe and reliable clean water and sewer services in more than 30 separate neighborhoods around the county, operating two wastewater treatment plants, one drinking water treatment facility, and 21 sanitary sewer pump stations. The costs for water and sewer service from Franklin County have remained unchanged since 2021.

2023 Sanitary Engineering Stats:


households rely on the county for water service.


households rely on the county for sewer service.


gallons of clean water delivered.


centum cubic feet (CCF) of sewage treated.


miles of water distribution lines.


miles of sanitary sewer mains.

Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement
Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement
Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement
Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement

Community Partner: SWACO

With nearly a million tons of material arriving at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill each year and a steadily growing population, sustainable waste management is at the forefront of the commissioners’ environmental priorities, and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is an invaluable partner in the work of sustainability.

Program Highlight: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Compost

This year, Franklin County reached an all-time record rate of recycling and diversion of 54%, compared to the national average of about 34%, and SWACO continued its work to encourage reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting to preserve our community’s resources and conserve space in the landfill.


Two all new Recycling Convenience Centers are making it easier than ever for our residents to responsibly dispose of hard-to-recycle things like clothing, furniture, electronics, and food waste. The self-service, drive-up facilities provide a convenient and accessible place to drop off a wide range of materials, mostly for free, and are the first of their kind in Central Ohio. Seventy-six percent of everything that goes into the trash could be diverted elsewhere, so the new Recycling Convenience Centers provide a great opportunity to extend the life of our landfill, which has only 42 years of space remaining.

Recycle Right, Make a Difference While Central Ohio’s recycling rate continues to exceed the national average, more than 700,000 tons of materials that could otherwise be recycled arrives at the landfill each year. The newly reintroduced Recycle Right, Make a Difference program is an awareness and education initiative that aims to help Franklin County residents recycle more household items instead of throwing them away. It includes renewed efforts to reach people who describe themselves as half-hearted recyclers, and to build their confidence that recycling matters, and that they can make a difference.

The Business Recycling Champions initiative provides local businesses with financial incentives and technical assistance to start a recycling program, and includes collaboration with COSI and The Ohio State University to expand recycling education opportunities in our community.