Borough of Hightstown Achieves Sustainable Jersey Certification
Hightstown, NJ (November 01, 2014) – Sustainable Jersey representatives announced today that the Borough of Hightstown has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey certification. Hightstown is one of 143 towns out of 416 registered municipalities that have attained bronze certification. Hightstown will be honored at the Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Atlantic City with Mayor Steven Kirson accepting the award.
To become Sustainable Jersey certified, Hightstown submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 150 action points to be certified at the bronze level. In addition to reaching 150 points, each community had to create a green team and select at least 2 out of 11 priority action options. Hightstown did 3 of the 11 priority actions by completing a fleet inventory, natural resource inventory and a prescription drug safety and disposal program.
“Becoming Sustainable Jersey certified is a significant achievement,” said Pam Mount, chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “The certified towns demonstrate tremendous leadership and are a testament to how much we can accomplish with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey.”
Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources, and addressing diversity and equity. “Collectively the 416 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey,” said Donna Drewes co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program. Randall Solomon, co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program congratulated the certified towns. “I commend the towns that have achieved certification for their demonstrated commitment toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey.”
The certified towns will be recognized at the sixth annual Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the 99th Annual New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference.
About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 416 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the sustainability certification program. In 2014 the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program will be launched in partnership with New Jersey School Boards Association and other statewide educational organizations.
Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and BPU. Previous Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program cycles have been underwritten by Walmart, PSEG and the New Jersey Department of Health. Sponsors include South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, Energy Solve, Terhune Orchards, Bayshore Recycling, Good Energy, EcoMatters, Spiezle Architectural Group, Waste Management of New Jersey, Pennoni Associates, Inc., Investors Bank, and Concord Engineering. The program underwriters for Sustainable Jersey for Schools are the New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program and Bayer Foundation. The founding sponsors for Sustainable Jersey for Schools are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group with additional support coming from Pennoni Associates, Inc.
Environmental Commission wins ANJEC Award
Hightstown Environmental Commission/Hightstown Housing Authority
Green stormwater management demonstration project
In response to severe flooding from Hurricane Irene, the Environmental Commission garnered public and official support for groundbreaking changes to local stormwater management policies. After determining that, due to 60 percent impervious cover, 45,000 gallons of water would run off the Hightstown Housing Authority’s (HHA) public housing complex into a stream that runs through the center of town, the Commission partnered with the Authority to build a demonstration site showcasing three simple solutions to reduce runoff: (1) a rain garden to manage runoff from one of HHA’s largest buildings and recharge the water back into the soil; (2) a rain barrel project to store water from a portion of the office building roof and use it for irrigating the landscaping; and (3) a dry well to improve percolation of rain water into surrounding soils. The project reduced runoff from the HHA site by 14 percent, and kept 40,740 gallons of water from running down storm drains in June of 2013 alone. In addition, the HHA added an attractive landscape feature for residents to enjoy. This has encouraged the Authority to add additional project areas and report that this fall they will have doubled the size of the original project.
DEP REMINDS RESIDENTS TO RECYCLE TVS, COMPUTERS AND MONITORS AS REQUIRED BY ELECTRONIC WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today reminded residents that televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers, and monitors that have been replaced by new electronic holiday gifts cannot be thrown out with the trash but must be taken to designated recycling collection points as required by state law.
“Recycling of e-waste is taking hold across the state, and is steadily becoming routine,” Commissioner Martin said. “These devices can no longer be placed out on the curb. They must be taken to specially designated e-waste recycling drop-off points conveniently located throughout our municipalities and counties or to retailers that accept these materials.”
Since taking effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the state’s Electronic Waste Management Act has dramatically increased the amount of e-waste that is recycled in the state, keeping potentially hazardous materials out of landfills and incinerators. Through the third quarter of 2012, more than 62 million pounds of e-waste have been diverted from the regular waste stream.
The law covers televisions and all personal or portable computers – including desktop, notebook and laptop computers, as well as computer monitors. Manufacturers of these devices now fund the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.
The law does not require recycling of cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although retailers and service organizations provide drop-off opportunities for recycling of these items.
Discarded TVs, computers and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants, and other potentially hazardous materials, while Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.
Electronic waste makes up 2 percent of the solid waste disposed in New Jersey. But as a result of consumer demand for new technologies, and subsequent disposal of old devices, e-waste is growing faster than any other component of the solid waste stream.
Devices covered by the law must be taken to a drop-off point, such as a county or municipal collection center or a participating electronics retail store. Most municipal and county drop-off points require proof of residency.
Many electronics retailers, including Best Buy and Staples, and community-based service programs, most notably Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, also accept these materials.
“The DEP is constantly working to improve the public’s understanding of proper disposal of e-waste,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management Jane Kozinksi. “Whether you’ve received a new television, iPad, or desktop computer or gave one as a gift, be sure to spread the word on proper disposal of old electronics to family and friends.’’
Residents should contact their county solid waste agency or municipal recycling coordinator for e-waste recycling options currently available in their cities and towns.
For more information on New Jersey’s E-Cycle program, including a list of e-waste recycling locations statewide, a connection to all 21 county recycling web sites, and information for consumers on “front door’’ pickup service to deal with extra heavy televisions or for people with special needs, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html