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SUSTAINABILITY
Upper Arlington enjoys one of the highest recycling rates in the state (45.2%) and has been named a Tree City USA every year since 1990.

As City Council considers implementation of the 2021-2022 budget, their decisions will be guided by the goals, objectives and implementation strategies of the City’s Master Plan, which serves as the principal guiding document for preserving and enhancing the community’s makeup and quality of life. Priorities will be placed on the following areas:

  • Continued support of the City’s 10-year Capital improvement Program to maintain and improve the City’s streets, underground infrastructure, parks and other public spaces.
  • Support of smart growth initiatives that enhance the vibrancy and viability of the community’s commercial districts while preserving the community’s residential nature.
  • Prioritizing a shift to implementing environmentally- and sustainability-appropriate practices, with the goal of achieving zero-waste, zero-pollution and zero-emissions by 2030.
  • Exploration of opportunities for realizing operating efficiencies through collaborations, shared services and partnerships.

Upper Arlington is among Central Ohio’s sustainability leaders, as it was named a platinum-level community as part of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s sustainable2050 Initiative in 2019. This program builds on the adoption of the Central Ohio Green Pact from 2007 and takes it to the next level. The City was also recognized in Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence for Communities Program, which looks for achievements in environmental stewardship. Below is a listing of just some of the activities centered around sustainability in Upper Arlington.

ENERGY

  • The City utilizes 100% renewable wind for City operations
  • Upper Arlington was named a one-star Ohio Green Fleet community by Clean Fuels Ohio. The City operates two Nissan Leaf electric vehicles
  • DC-Fast electric vehicle charging stations are available at the Municipal Services Center and the Public Services Center, and is a code requirement for larger parking lots
  • The City participated in AEP Ohio’s Community Energy Savers Program in 2014 which resulted in a grant for new energy efficient outdoor lighting at Northam Park
  • Upper Arlington is among the only communities in Central Ohio to allow rooftop solar panel installations on the front of residences and businesses
  • All traffic signals, pedestrian walk signals, and street lights are LED. LED and other efficient lighting has been installed at the Municipal Services Center and Public Services Center
  • Five COGO bike share stations have been installed between Kingsdale and Fifth Avenue
  • The City has explored the installation of solar panels on several City facilities and looked for alternative means to finance such projects, including grants and power purchase agreements.

NATURAL RESOURCES

  • Upper Arlington has been named a Tree City USA community every year since 1990 and continues to plant hundreds of new trees each year
  • Over the past 6 years, residents have maintained an average diversion rate of 45%; diversion efforts include: weekly curbside recycling collection, year-round curbside yard waste collection, food waste drop-off program, annual e-waste collection events, annual pumpkin collection, and holiday light recycling
  • Upper Arlington offers a residential food waste collection program, with drop-off locations at the Municipal Services Center, Sunny 95 Park and Fancyburg Park
  • The City has partnered with SWACO on their Recycle Right and Save More Than Food campaigns
  • Sunny 95 Park is home to rain gardens that are among the largest in Central Ohio and rain gardens are found along Tremont Road at Kingsdale
  • Upper Arlington has finished in the top five for several years in the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation
  • City Zoning code limits the amount of hard surfaces on a property and encourages permeable pavement, rain gardens and rain barrels to be considered throughout development design.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

  • The City is exploring the creation of a PACE program, which would allow residents and businesses to purchase energy efficient and clean energy improvements via an assessment on their property tax
  • Unified Development Ordinance (UDO/zoning code) and Building Code have been updated to include and streamline sustainable practices
  • All new commercial buildings built since 2007 have been eligible for LEED® certification
  • Upper Arlington hosts a weekly farmers’ market at Northam Park which includes local farmers and vendors.

COLLABORATION

  • Upper Arlington has a sustainability section in the City’s Master Plan, which was among the first in the Midwest
  • City officials hold positions on multiple boards and commissions throughout Central Ohio, including Sustainability Advisory Committee, Sustainable2050, Central Ohio Greenways, COTA Advisory Panel and Transportation Advisory Committee
  • The City sponsors a table at the annual MORPC Summit on Sustainability
  • Upper Arlington adopted the Franklin County Emergency Management Plan for hazard mitigation and response
  • UA adopted a Stormwater Management Plan per Ohio EPA requirements.

SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS

  • Upper Arlington adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2014 and continues to expand shared use paths and sidewalks as part of a Transportation Plan
  • New bike racks, trash cans and recycling bins have been installed at City facilities, including parks and swimming pools
  • The City has implemented several Safe Routes to Schools and Active Transportation Plans to improve walkability within the community
  • Upper Arlington has partnered with the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District on their Community Backyards program, which aims to be better stewards of the environment by offering education as well as discounted rain barrels, rain garden plants, and compost bins. UA also joined the Water Quality Partner program for businesses and governments
  • The City’s outdoor lighting standards follow the Dark Sky® model in order to preserve the night sky
  • The City’s solid waste and recycling vendor, Local Waste, utilizes natural gas-powered vehicles
  • UA participates in several prescription medicine drop-off programs each year as well as accepts old prescriptions year-round to be dropped off at the police department to be discarded safely.
  • Local boy scout troops participate in the “Swomp Romp” to help clean-up Turkey Run, hosted by the Engineering Division
  • During snow events, the City uses a brine mixture in order to reduce the amount of salt needed
  • Have hosted several sustainability events like an electric vehicle ride and drive, compost bin and rain barrel sales, sustainability summits and other community events.
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