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Internal Sustainability Programs

Some Johnson County internal green programs and policies affect all departments; other efforts are tailored to the specific function of a particular department.

Reduce Energy Use Strategic Goals
The Board of Supervisors adopted five energy-related goals in early 2014. Three of the goals are in progress: setting sustainable capital project standards; creating an internal fund for energy efficiencies or projects; and initiating energy-efficiency, cost-saving upgrades.

Alternative Energy
The Yoderville Biofuel Cooperative picks up used fryer oil from the Johnson County Jail’s kitchen every month and processes it into biodiesel.

Johnson County Property Stormwater Plan

Unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in July 2013, the plan focuses on internal county operations and their effects on water quality and water quantity.

Kate Giannini, soil and water conservation specialist, and Chris Henze, roadside vegetation manager, will now develop individual stormwater plans for each of the county’s properties. The plans will identify best management practices to increase water quality and reduce flooding impacts.

Staff will also implement an ongoing educational program to inform the public about the impacts of stormwater and steps that can be taken to reduce stormwater pollution.

Greenhouse gas reduction goals are included in the Johnson County Strategic Plan.

LEED and Green Building
Johnson County owns and operates three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings: the Health and Human Services building (LEED Silver) near downtown Iowa City, and at Kent Park, the Conservation Headquarters and Conservation Maintenance facilities (LEED Gold).

Recycling and Waste Reduction

  • Single-stream (co-mingled) recycling
  • Battery recycling
  • Inkjet and laser printer cartridges
  • No Styrofoam used at the jail
  • Compostables collection at major events
  • Online surplus supply store for sharing supplies

Energy Reduction

  • Installation of LED lights in many buildings
  • Energy audits
  • Vending machines on reduced energy timers

Employee Education
Through our employee intranet, monthly emailed tips, a quarterly Green Team newsletter and signage, the Green Team helps employees adopt sustainable practices both at work and at home.

In addition, the Green Team organizes sustainability programming for employees during Earth Week and Bike-to-Work Week/One Less Car Week, which are held each April and May, respectively. Johnson County also encourages local residents and businesses to adopt sustainable practices.