• Sustain Header


    Scattered, land-consumptive development is bringing about the deterioration and loss of open lands, watersheds, forests, ecosystems and species. This sort of development threatens the traditional historic character of our communities and countryside, which is a major contributor to our quality of life, heritage and economic viability. Encouraging compact development and redevelopment of existing sites can avoid further encroachment on diminishing land and natural resources, helping to safeguard these for future generations as well as for ourselves.

    Objective: Conservation and Compact Development Design
    Introduce conservation development design standards and incentives into plans and ordinances used to review development projects to increase open space and reduce development infrastructure construction and maintenance cost.

    Objective: Water Resource Management
    Recognize the value of water as a resource and manage it to protect surface water, watersheds, and wetlands, prevent increased flooding, preserve groundwater resources, maintain natural hydrology, and improve water quality. For more information, visit Managing Storm Water.

    Performance Measure
    Infiltrate 25% of post development runoff in residential areas or 10% of post development runoff from commercial sites based on the 2-year, 24-hour storm design.

    Objective: Sustainable Development Standards
    Develop regulatory guidelines, standards, and incentives for sustainable development, including those for LEED certification. For more information on regulatory guidelines, visit Planning and Zoning.

    Objective: Educate for Sustainability
    Educate the development community, municipal officials, and the general public to be good stewards of the land by recognizing and accepting the long range benefits of conservation development design concepts, preserving our natural resources, protecting water quality, establishing affordable housing in the community, and implementing and utilizing regulatory incentives to foster sustainable development.

    Environmental Education 

    Safeguarding important lands, water, wetlands, soil, forests as natural ecosystems also helps to preserve the productivity and diversity of life upon which human life and well-being depends. We need to educate the public about our environment and ways to protect it and responsibly use and sustain it.

    Groundwater is a major concern in Waukesha County and over-pumping is occurring in the Waukesha region. Water conservation initiatives along with infiltration practices and rain gardens are needed for a more balanced natural system.  Educating the citizens for greater understanding of our water resources is a critical component to protecting and restoring them.

    Reducing the amount of wastes and by-products reduces the likelihood of pollution while also reducing disposal problems and related costs for communities and businesses alike. Communities and businesses that make use of their own or each other’s excess energy, water, and materials by-products can reduce or eliminate disposal and pollution problems and save, if not generate, significant revenues.   Municipalities as well as the public need information and support to promote recycling and waste reduction.

    For information on building a green home, visit Wisconsin TrendHome.

    Objective: Water Conservation and Awareness
    Work to promote water conservation and awareness of groundwater issues through active participation in the Water Conservation Coalition.

    Performance Measure
    Increase the number of businesses participating in self-assessment and the average water savings generated per business.

    Objective: Rain Gardens
    Promote the installation of rain gardens by homeowners, schools and other groups to reduce storm water runoff and provide more infiltration of water into the ground. 

    Performance Measure
    Install six rain gardens per year through the Graham Martin Foundation grant.

    Objective: Waste Reduction and Recycling
    Promote waste reduction and recycling to municipal staff and policy makers, businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and the public. For more information, visit Recycling and Solid Waste. 

    Performance Measure 

    • Using year 2006 tons as a baseline (24,000 tons) increase the tons of materials recycled at the Waukesha County Recycling Facility by 5% by year 2011.
    • 98% of Waukesha County households participating in recycling programs.
    • Divert a minimum of 35% of residential waste from going to landfills through recycling, waste recycling and yard waste management.  

    Objective: Develop Long-range Plan for Residential Recycling Collection and Processing

    Performance Measure 

    • Maintain recycling program cost per ton at a rate lower than landfill disposal cost.
    • Maintain recycling program revenue above 120% of total recycling costs.


  • What we’re doing...
    Switched to phosphorus-free fertilizer to minimize the detrimental effects of phosphorus on soils and surface waters.

    What you can do...
    Consider using phosphorus-free fertilizers on established lawns or using natural forms of fertilizing such as grasscycling or topdressing with compost.

    What we’re doing...
    Continuing to promote conservation development design standards to increase open space and reduce development infrastructure construction and maintenance cost.

    What you can do...
    If you live along a lake or stream, establish naturally vegetated buffers in the near shore areas.