Environmental sustainability is defined as responsible interaction with the environment to avoid depletion or degradation of natural resources. Wellington, practices environmental sustainability to help ensure that the needs of today's population are met without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Sustainability is inherent in Wellington’s vision and mission and in our role as stewards of the public’s resources and trust.
The following are the ways that Wellington is helping to create a greener future.
Buildings account for roughly 72 percent of the country’s electricity consumption, 39 percent of all energy use, and 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. In recent years, Wellington’s push towards sustainability involves infrastructure changes that impact the Village in a positive way.
The Florida Green Building Coalition certified Wellington as a “Green Local Government,” recognizing our conscientious green building efforts in creating a more sustainable Florida.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability and effectiveness in reducing resource consumption and environmental impacts.
The Department of Public Works manages, maintains, and repairs approximately 100 miles of storm drainage pipes which includes several hundred structures throughout the Village. The department also regulates and protects the floodplain throughout Village limits.
Decreasing pollution from storm water runoff, helps protect our lakes and canals, and supports our natural ecosystems’ ability to thrive.
Transportation is the second largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
Wellington is working to reduce fuel consumption and air emissions of its vehicle fleet through a combination of upgrading fleet fuel efficiency, adding alternative fuel vehicles to the fleet, and looking for ways to reduce driving while still delivering a high level of service to the community.
Wellington’s Green Fleet program includes the use hybrids, four-cylinder engine vehicles, gas-propane fuel, and electric utility vehicles. Moving the Village towards an alternative fuel fleet.
Residents with electric cars, may also find charging stations at Village Hall, the Tennis Center, and at the new Wellington Community Center.
Water & Natural Resources
At Village Hall, low flow plumbing fixtures use water collected from a rain cistern.
Wellington’s Reclaim Water Facility treats 1 million gallons of water per day.
This water is used to irrigate rights-of-way, as well as turf and landscape at Village facilities.
This means less potable water ends up on lawns and other landscaping. Using reclaimed water reduces the maximum daily demand of drinking water. The Village saves approximately 500,000 gallons of raw water per day by using reclaimed water.
Protecting our natural eco-systems from further damage is critical, especially for the survival of some Endangered species. [see Hazardous Waste Guidelines & Drop-Off Locations]
At the Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat (Section 24) environmental preservation meets innovative engineering to preserve and protect our natural resources. This 365-acre preserve boasts more than breathtaking views and nature trails.
Nestled behind Village Park, you will find Peaceful Waters Sanctuary. This 26 acre wetlands park is home to native animals and plant species. Treated waste water from Wellington’s Water Reclamation Facility flows into the sanctuary for yet another step in the filtration process, before it is used for irrigation.
In 2015 alone, the Village planted more than 500 trees along roadways and parks, which greatly increases the Village's canopy coverage.
Over the past two years, volunteers helped the Village plant more than 2,500 slash pine trees, 300 cypress trees, and nearly 200 pond apple trees at Section 24. Wildflower seeding and aquatic plant installation are two other means used to increase wildlife habitats and improve water quality at Section 24.
Trees clean the air and offset pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide. Each tree planted offsets the Village’s environmental impact by using about 0.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime. The Village’s yearly Earth Day celebration and tree seedling giveaway, help plant the seed of preservation in our younger residents.
Code Officers enforce year round water restrictions, and removal of invasive vegetation, not included in Wellington’s “Preferred Species List.” [see Landscaping information]
Wellington’s internal “Green Purchasing Guidelines” addresses best practices for cleaning the interior of Village Hall. Today, 85 % of all purchases of cleaning supplies, chemical, and paper products are “Green Seal” and environmentally-friendly. Purchases are made in bulk or concentrated form to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Science is clear- Climate change is happening and greenhouse gas emissions are largely to blame. Energy efficiency is a simple way of addressing the complex issues related to climate change.
The Village has installed LED lights in all Wellington buildings and facilities, including the Amphitheater, the Village Park Gymnasium, the Water and Reclaim Water plants, entry wall signs, and parking lot lamps.
By switching to LEDs, the Village is using at least 75% less energy. The Village is also seeing a reduction in maintenance time, since LEDs last 25 times longer than incandescent ones.
The use of smart LED’s, such as motion, timer and light activated fixtures also help curb energy consumption.
Older Air Conditioning systems have been replaced with more efficient units, and newer refrigerants that meet strict Environmental Protection Agency standards.
A/C systems at Village Hall, the Tennis Center, the Village Park Gym, and soon the Community Center are controlled with an Energy Management System that is set for occupied and unoccupied times, which in turn saves electrical usage.
Water & Recycling
As part of its commitment to serve as environmental stewards, Wellington is constantly looking at ways to reduce waste and explore options for converting it into a resource for a greener future.
Wellington continues to improve its best management practices to aid in water quality, exploring alternate methods of manure disposal. Staff focus on education, pasture management, composting, and ways to promote the proper disposal of horse waste in and around Wellington.
Endeavoring to throw away the "throw away" mentality, the Village also focuses efforts on reducing waste. [Garbage/Recycling information]
Through our Website wellingtonfl.gov, residents can access electronic documents and digital maps, eliminating the need for paper Public Information Request forms.
Many of our building permits are now processed electronically. Our online bill pay process also reduces our need for paper.
The GIS “Collector Application” allows staff to use maps, and collect and maintain data, while eliminating paper work orders, and paper maps.
When garbage becomes inevitable, the Village has no shortage of helping hands. Every year, dozens of Wellington volunteers join the Great American Clean Up, the nation's largest community improvement program, to remove trash and debris in their community.
A Look Ahead
Green solutions are merely the first steps on a path that will take Wellington into a future where residents will live in a more environmentally friendly way. In its bid to enhance the value of the community and promote environmentally friendly options, the Village has spread the sustainability message throughout its core values.
Wellington is poised to exchange ideas for future green efforts with regional and local partners contributing to the global push for environmental improvement.