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Quick Facts on Green Hillsborough

Green Hillsborough


Hillsborough County Government has a long history of commitment to sustainability.  The County has been described as a “Local Leader in Sustainability” and a “Green County” by the American Institute of Architects, and no wonder – just take a look at the many green initiatives County Government has accomplished:

In Energy Efficiency:

  • Hillsborough County has obtained the EPA Energy Star Rating for energy efficiency on several county buildings including the Frederick Karl County Center, the Old Hillsborough County Main Courthouse, the Court Annex Complex and the Public Utilities Administration Building
  • The Public Works Department completed retrofit of more than 15,000 County-owned traffic and pedestrian signals with LED lights, as well as replaced overhead street sign fluorescent lights with electronic lamps.  County parking garages also use efficient LED lighting fixtures
  • Hillsborough County Facilities uses a downtown central chiller plant to supply chilled water for air conditioning to several downtown county buildings including the County Center, Old Main Courthouse, George Edgecomb County Courthouse, Annex Courthouse Complex, the School District’s administration building and the new Rampello School.  Chilled water technology is also used at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County.
  • The County Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) turns trash into electricity and powers several County buildings and operations on Falkenburg Road, saving the County thousands of dollars in electricity charges.  The RRF sends electricity to the Central Hillsborough Water Treatment Facility, the Falkenburg Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Brandon Support and Operation Complex (BSOC) and the Woodberry Master Lift Station.
  • County Facilities Management Services continues to retrofit indoor lighting in County buildings with the energy efficient T-8 bulbs with electronic ballasts.  To date, the County has completed over 80 lighting retrofits.
  • County Facilities has installed the largest urban solar array on the Old County Courthouse in downtown Tampa, using the sun to power up to 40% of the electricity for this facility.
  • Additional solar panels have been installed on the All People’s Life Center and the Tax Collectors office.

In Solid Waste Management:

  • The County burns over 95% of household trash in the Resource Recovery Facility, generating electricity and minimizing waste taken to County landfills.
  • The Public Works Department – Solid Waste Management Division operates three Household Chemicals and Electronics Collection sites and four Community Collection Centers.
  • The County flares methane gas at both the Southeast and Hillsborough Heights/Taylor Road Landfill sites, greatly reducing the release of greenhouse gases (methane) into the environment.
  • Curbside Recycling within the County transitioned to single stream collection in 2013, benefiting residential customers by making recycling easier and greatly increasing the tons of waste diverted for recycling.  In a single stream collection system, many recyclable items are able to be placed in the same bin and are sorted later in the process.  

In Water and Wastewater Treatment: 

  • Hillsborough County Public Utilities boasts the largest reclaimed water program for the retail -residential market in the state of Florida.
  • New technology at the Falkenburg, Valrico and Northwest wastewater treatment plants uses ultraviolet light to sterilize bacteria, reducing the use and storage of chemicals for treatment.
  • Hillsborough County encourages water conservation through a comprehensive program that includes year-round watering restrictions, outreach and education, toilet rebates, free  irrigation audits and funding of workshops on Florida-Friendly landscaping practices.  

 

In Green Building and Development Programs:

  • Completed in 2009, the Tampa Bay History Center is Hillsborough County Government’s first constructed Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiable building.  LEED Certification is currently in progress.
  • New County buildings will all be constructed to LEED standards.
  • County Development Services gives priority status to reviews on “green” development projects


 In Fleet and Alternative Fuel  Infrastructure:

  • Through fleet rightsizing efforts, the size and composition of the fleet has changed. The fleet has been reduced by over 400 vehicles and pieces of equipment. These measures, along with driver modification training, help to reduce the community carbon footprint.
  • The County has added several alternative fuel vehicles to the Fleet including hybrid passenger vehicles, hybrid platform trucks, a compressed natural gas Honda Civic and an electric Chevy Volt.
  • County Fleet has a program to reduce engine oil usage and waste oil generation using an on-board oil filtration system that virtually eliminates the need for oil changes on many pieces of heavy duty vehicles and equipment.
  • In 2011, County Government participated in a U.S. Department of Energy grant opportunity and received 7 electric car charging stations that have been installed in different facilities around the County.

On Natural Resources and Environmental Issues

  • The Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) of Hillsborough County regulates pollution activities through inspections, monitoring and permitting in the Air Management Division, the Waste Management Division, the Water Management Division and the Wetlands Management Division.  In 1967, the EPC was created by a special act of the Florida Legislature to control and regulate activities that may cause pollution. The EPC also encourages sustainable activities for the County through its Office of Sustainability.  Visit the EPC website for more information at www.epchc.org

  • Parks, Recreation and Conservation The County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department maintains and protects more than 80,000 acres of parkland in Hillsborough County, which improves the environment and quality of life.  Approximately, 61,000 acres have been acquired through the County’s Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP).   In addition, this department undertakes an invasive species removal program throughout publicly -owned lands in the County.
  • Environmental Land Acquisition Program Plan (ELAPP)The County Real Estate department has acquired more than 60,831 acres of land through the County’s ELAPP since its inception in 1987 at a total price of $240 million.  The County received $76 million of that in joint funding.  This program preserves natural habitat, water quality, and reduces the flood risk in flood-prone areas.
  • Lakes, Ponds and Steams is a program through the County Public Works department that helps citizens better manage the health of neighborhood waterbodies and stormwater ponds.
  • The Institute of Food and Agriculture Services (IFAS) at the University of Florida extends its programs to many counties in Florida through various extension offices.  The Hillsborough County Extension office is located in Seffner off County Road 579. UF/IFAS provides information and education in family and consumer sciences, horticulture, agriculture, natural resources and 4-H youth development by conducting educational programs, seminars and demonstrations. Visit http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu.
  • County Office of Neighborhood Relations offers homeowner associations mini-grant opportunities for area beautification including tree planting and low volume irrigation systems.

 

For more information on these initiatives, visit the individual County departments of Facilities (Energy Management), Public Works, Public Utilities, Fleet, Neighborhood Relations, Real Estate, and Parks, Recreation and Conservation.