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Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability & Civic Engagement

The commissioners worked with officials throughout the county to help communicate the best practices to stop the spread of COVID-19

A fast-spreading virus that could live for hours in the air presented a host of new challenges for governments, which must remain open. Public Facilities Management (PFM) provides maintenance and cleaning at more than 40 county facilities and strives to be eco-friendly and cost-efficient; in 2020, the agency also had to work out how county government could operate safely during a pandemic.

Wherever possible, county services were moved online. Additional measures had to be adopted so the county could have face-to-face dealings with the public when necessary. That meant enhanced cleaning in high-traffic areas several times a day, deep cleanings on nights and weekends, installing a substantial number of plexiglass barriers in all areas where residents may need to interact with county officials, and ongoing communication to explain the new building policies.
 


 

See the many ways in which the Franklin County Commissioners provided assistance throughout 2020 and shared news about that assistance online in a format that allowed residents to ask questions and provide feedback.

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All commissioner agencies felt the additional challenges of operating in a pandemic. The commissioners’ Fleet Management department oversees a fleet of 500 vehicles, an essential job that can’t be done from home and yet which still must be done safely. Fleet’s staff of a dozen workers procure, repair and maintain the county’s fleet which consists of gas, electric, hybrid, propane-powered and other types of vehicles—all while masked up and socially distanced from one another.

Fleet Management even assists other local governments around Ohio by offering to donate Franklin County’s older vehicles for free when they are no longer of useful service here. Fleet officials have contacts with more than 40 different Ohio agencies who have expressed interest. Franklin County donated three vehicles in 2020, including one car to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, which needed a vehicle for a K-9 officer.

Franklin County’s Department of Sanitary Engineering provides safe water and sewer services to county residents not served by other water systems. It’s a vital service offered in unincorporated areas

The commissioners were able to donate a former sheriff’s office vehicle to Ottawa County which will put it back into service.

SWACO

Another local agency heavily involved with sustainability is the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, or SWACO, which manages the county’s solid waste stream, the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill, and offers programs and services designed to help central Ohio residents and businesses reduce their reliance on the landfill.

Yes, the pandemic has even had an effect on the landfill. With more residents working from home last year, there was an increase in the amount of waste material being set at the curb each week. Some hauling partners saw as much as a 30% increase in the waste material left at the curb.

Studies have shown that about three-fourths of the material arriving at the landfill has the potential to be diverted. SWACO responded in 2020 with the launch of new programs like Save More Than Food and contact-free mobile collection events in order to help divert even more of the material away from the landfill and reach the agency’s goal of 75% diversion by 2032.

MORPC

One of the area’s leaders in sustainability is the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) which supports regional growth and vitality.

MORPC has led the effort to keep Franklin County at Platinum- the highest standard in the Sustainable 2050 program which educates and assists communities that want to be greener.

MORPC also provides online content and virtual programs to help others who want to do better. And in 2020, MORPC launched a Regional Sustainability Dashboard so that residents can track sustainability efforts in the region. The agency also unveiled the Central Ohio Employer Telework Policy Guide in 2020, which focuses on the needs and expectations of telework for a changing business landscape.

SWACO Recycling

$130.015
Tons of Fiber Recycled
34.17
Tons of Metal Recycled
24.81 
Tons of E-waste Recycled
17.28
Tons of Mixed Recyclables
1,059.44
Tons of Miscellaneous Items Recycled
1,265.71
Total Tons of Recycled Material
76%
of the material in the landfill has the potential to
be reused, recycled or composted
50%
Franklin County’s current rate of recycling
34%
National rate of recycling
4-5
Pounds per person per day
– The amount of waste created and sent to the landfill
75%
Total diversion by 2032 (goal)
50%
Food waste reduction by 2030 (goal)

Sanitary Engineering

4,503
Water customers
6,502
Sewer customers
346,976
CCF water delivered
754,367.4
CCF water purchased/treated
105,776.70
CCF sewer treated via 4 waste treatment centers
418,752
CCF sewage sent to Columbus for treatment

Green Fleet

481
Vehicles maintained
339,060
Gallons of fuel
4,665,699
Miles driven
1,054
Oil changes
$1,465,311,55
Parts and Labor Needed to Maintain the Fleet
32
Alternative Fueled Vehicles
36
Alternative Fueling Stations