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Sustainability and Natural Resources

We are working toward responsible management and conservation of our natural resources to ensure that we maintain a clean and healthy environment to live, work and raise a family while allowing people and wildlife to thrive.

Egret bird standing in a pond
Progress on our goals & strategies

Goal 5: Clean Water For All

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Establish a stormwater utility fee or funding mechanism Medium No change in this reporting period. Strategy on hold.
2. Encourage and support low impact development (LID) for new development, and retrofit older stormwater systems with LID Medium Written an LID manual, have done several pilots, and have been including it in the code for Horizon West and will eventually for OrangeCode.
3. Promote water conservation in the built environment and develop a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ ordinance Medium Presentation on benefits of Florida-Friendly Development Strategies presented to Board of County Commissioners. Concepts will be considered in development of OrangeCode and Comprehensive Plan updates.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.

Goal 6: Zero Waste

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Improve commercial recycling rates Medium Current commercial recycling ordinance needs updates. City of Orlando developing new commercial recycling requirements.
2. Develop a Construction & Demolition debris diversion ordinance Medium FDEP reported Orange County 2016 C&D recycling rate as 75%. Goal was attained with only Statewide code changes; no local ordinance developed.
3. Increase collection system efficiency Short Efficiency improving with new automated collection vehicles. Additional CNG refueling stations built by haulers. Collection routes adjusted. Less trucks= less traffic and reduced greenhouse gases.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.

Goal 7: Clean Air For All

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Support alternative fuel vehicles, with an emphasis on fleets Medium Participate in CFL Clean Cities Coalition. Tracking Renewable Diesel successes at Disney. Looking at new technology for engine efficiency.
2. Promote urban forestry and expand tree canopy Long Jan '17 Orange County selected for FL Forest Service for Trees & Stormwater Study to assist with stormwater mgmt planning. Public meeting held in Jun '17. Report completed in Aug '17.
3. Develop anti-idling programs and reduce gas lawnmower use Medium Anti-idling campaign at eight OCPS schools for 12 week pilot. 50% reduction in idling noted. Working with OCPS on future plan. No plan for electric mowers at this time.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.

Goal 8: Green And Open Spaces Are Preserved And Valued

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Dedicated funding to buy and maintain targeted environmentally sensitive lands Long No change in this reporting period.
2. Provide incentives to preserve and maintain conservation lands, including safe, healthy farmlands Long Two land donations pending BCC approval in FY17-18. Education planned on Family Land Stewardship grant program.
3. Strengthen regional trail, bike trail, waterway, and park systems to promote healthy lifestyles and ecotourism Long Two new parks opened. Groundbreaking for three more new parks. New trail opened in Pine Hills. New trail started for Shingle Creek. New trails in planning for some GreenPLACE properties.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.

Goal 9: Our Products And Services Are Green, Safe, And Healthy

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Develop and participate in consortium committed to green local procurement Medium Procurement program in development for using recovered materials on projects with federal grant money. Implementation planned for Sep '18.
2. Encourage green certifications for government and businesses Short Helped with the Central Florida Workplace Challenge, encouraging lodging facilities to apply for FL Green Lodging Destination and assisted FDEP with auditing these facilities.
3. Support and incubate locally made and grown products and businesses Long Hold ongoing Rural Farming/Cottage Food Industry classes, participate in Good Food Central Florida Food Policy Council and partner with other groups to promote local food.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.
Our Target Measurements
Natural Resource Indicators Baseline 1st Report 2nd Report Current Target 2020
Potable Water Consumption
(million gallons per day)
2010
201.48
2014
212.92
2015
235.39
*establishing new metric 10% reduction
Achieve good water quality in water bodies
(Trophic Status Index Threshold=55)
2010
84%
2015
84%
2016
92%
2017
93%
85%
Recycling Rate 2010
32%
2014
51%
2015
52%
2016
72%
75%
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfilled
(tons/capita/year)
2010
1.31
2014
1.10
2015
1.02
2016
0.68
Zero Waste by 2040
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG)
(metric tons CO2 equivalent)
2005
18,694,256
2013
17,893,279
2014
18,342,525
2015
18,284,716
Neutral by 2040
Attainment status for criteria pollutants
(based on NAAQS)
2010
In attainment
2015
In attainment
2016
In attainment
2017*
In attainment *as of 10/06/17
Maintain Attainment
Percentage of population within one mile of public open space N/A N/A 2016
71.6% (county park)

No new data available
90% by 2040
Acres of preserved environmentally sensitive lands 2010
22,000
2015
22,000
2016
22,000
2017
22,708
40,000
Want to get involved?

The protection and conservation of our natural resources is crucial in maintaining our economy and quality of life. Resources such as potable water, natural lands and clean air are not unlimited. Maintaining these resources can be extremely costly if conscious efforts are not continued. Learn your role in making Orange County healthy, prosperous and a sustainable place to live.


Florida-Friendly Landscaping™
Butterfly perched on a flower

Landscaping around your home and neighborhood can help conserve water and preserve the environment. Learn best practices in Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) through the Master Gardeners at our local extension of the University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Learn more about Florida Friendly Landscaping!

Greenhouse Gases & Climate Change
U.S. and Orange County Flags on a pole

Since 2005, Orange County has been tracking Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs). Play an active role in reducing GHGs in Orange County. Review the data we’ve collected and read the recommended actions for residents.

Think 5: Orange County's Recycling Mantra
Think5 recycling program logo

By focusing on the top five most-used recyclables —plastic, metal and glass containers plus cardboard and paper, you can help make recycling in Orange County more profitable. Our Curbside Collection Program tells you how. A better mix of recyclables means less waste in our landfill and more usable items to be recycled into something new!

Shop, Buy, Eat Local
Farmers market, people perusing products for sale on tables outside

Throughout our County, you will find great opportunities for fresh produce, artisan gifts and handmade items plus so much more; all from local producers. Check out the Lake Nona Farmer’s Market and many others throughout the County. Buying local supports our economy, provides better products, teaches seasonal eating, and builds communities.