CO2 cloud

Reducing our Emissions in Franklin County

There’s no getting around the fact that that climate change plays a critical role in our future. Learn about how SWACO is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 64% by 2032 and how you can get involved too.

$74,000 in grants awarded to divert organic material from the landfill
100% SWACO facilities are powered by 100% renewable energy

SWACO to Reduce Its Carbon Emissions 64% by 2032

Plan Aligns with International Paris Accord

Climate plays a critical role in our community’s quality of life, economic well-being and long-term sustainability. SWACO is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and, ultimately, its impact on climate change.

To show how we will execute these goals, SWACO has created a Carbon Emissions Management Plan.

The Plan lays out a comprehensive strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 64% within our operational and financial control by 2032. It also addresses landfill gasses, SWACO’s fleet of vehicles and equipment, and energy and waste-management practices at our headquarters and other facilities.

The Plan also highlights innovative public-private partnerships that further reduce landfill gases and help partner organizations reduce their overall emissions. This is done by reducing reliance on the landfill by reducing waste, and increasing reuse, recycling, and composting programs.

Coupled together, the Plan helps SWACO reach its goal and aligns with the international Paris Accord to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Specifically, the Plan aims to:

Reduce emissions from SWACO’s fleet of vehicles and equipment.

SWACO will continue to transition its fleet from gas and diesel to alternative fuel sources, primarily compressed natural gas and electricity.

Reduce building electricity and fuel.

SWACO will implement conservation measures to reduce the energy use at headquarters and other facilities, and will consider incorporating renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal, into its power supply.

Reduce waste material.

SWACO will continue recycling, composting and re-using materials and supporting circular economy practices, including purchasing supplies made of recycled content.

Reduce landfill gas emissions.

SWACO will continue to engage in a public-private partnership to capture and reuse methane gas generated at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill and will continue to offer programs and services to help the community reduce its reliance on the landfill.

Count On Us

In 2020, we made great progress on the goals set out in the Plan.
• Formalized anti-idling policy
• Purchased 3 new Tier IV heavy equipment units to operate at FCSL
• All facilities are now powered by 100% renewable energy reducing around 1,324 tons of CO2e/year
• Installed smart meters in facilities
• Retrofitted existing buildings with efficient lighting, LEED design of new buildings and renovations
• Reduced paper use by 52%
• 57% of office supplies purchased contain recyclable content
• Deliveries reduced by 57%
• Planted 50 trees
• Awarded $74,000 in grants to divert organic material
• Launched the Food Waste Champion Program
• Partnered on a solar energy facility that will produce enough power for 5,000 homes

It Takes All Of Us to Make a Difference

SWACO is the only Solid Waste Authority in the state of Ohio to own and operate a public landfill. The Franklin County Sanitary Landfill serves all of Franklin County. Reducing gas emissions at the landfill requires action by every person and business in the Solid Waste District.

To help, SWACO employs innovative best practices at the landfill to capture and reuse the methane produced by decomposing waste. To do this, SWACO partners with Aria Energy to capture landfill gas at the current Franklin County Sanitary Landfill site, clean it, and turn it into a renewable resource that heats more than 13,000 central Ohio homes every year.

Most recently, SWACO announced a new partnership with BQ Energy to install a 50-megawatt solar array at the closed landfill site between Jackson Pike and Interstate 71. The solar array will be one of the largest on a closed landfill site in the nation and, when operational, will produce enough electricity to power 5,000 homes a year.

SWACO will also continue to offer programs and services directly to businesses and residents in order to divert organic material and other waste from the landfill through programs like Save More Than Food and Recycle Right, Make a Difference.


Planning for the Future

Central Ohio’s recycling and sustainability efforts are getting noticed but we’re not done yet. Learn about what we have in store for 2021 and beyond that will help us reach greater rates of diversion and further reduce our reliance on the landfill.