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Township's Efforts Recognized by Green Group

Sustainable Jersey grants Gloucester Township a certification bump from bronze to silver level.

Gloucester Township's green efforts are no longer deserving of just a bronze.

Sustainable Jersey, which aims to reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions, on Tuesday announced that Gloucester Township has been re-certified, with its standing level bumped from bronze to silver.

The township is now one of just 11 municipalities in the state to attain Sustainable Jersey's silver level certification.

"It's just exciting to be a part of a team that made that change," Councilwoman Michelle Gentek, who heads the township's Green Team, said.

In addition to the Gloucester Township certification bump, Sustainable Jersey on Tuesday announced that it certified or re-certified 23 other towns in its latest review cycle.

Of the 24 towns that recently received certification notices, 16 towns were certified for the first time, including Camden, and eight towns were re-certified

Gloucester Township first earned Sustainable Jersey certification in 2011, when it was designated a bronze level community based on the environmental group's scoring system.

A total of 125 New Jersey towns have achieved Sustainable Jersey certifications since the program launched in 2009. Another 253 have signed on as Sustainable Jersey member communities striving for certification.

Silver-level certification requires that a town attain a minimum of 350 points, as compared to 150 points for bronze. Typically, a town will aim to complete 10 to 12 actions from a potential list of more than 100. That list includes areas such as a commitment to environmental stewardship, community gardens, supporting local businesses, conservation of energy and water, and waste reduction and recycling.

Gentek pointed to the township's single-stream recycling program, which was initiated last year, as a highlight of green progress in the community. She also applauded the "simple solutions" Sustainable Jersey helps the local Green Team pass onto residents for private actions.

In addition to reaching the required 150 or 350 points, each community has to create a Green Team and select at least two (for bronze-level) and at least three (for silver-level) of the seven "priority" actions that include energy audits for municipal buildings, a municipal carbon footprint, a sustainable land-use pledge, a natural resource inventory, a water conservation ordinance, a fleet inventory, and/or energy tracking and management, according to Sustainable Jersey.

Gloucester Township had completed its three required "priority" actions for the 2011 certification round—it implemented an energy tracking and management system, completed inventory and upgraded buildings, and developed fleet inventory—but fell short on points for silver level.

"Sustainable Jersey is successful because it champions community-led decision-making and leadership, rather than mandating a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan for New Jersey," Donna Drewes, who co-directs the organization with Randall Solomon, said.

Gentek credited Mayor David Mayer with supporting the initiatives—noting that some towns have struggled to reach certification due to a lack of cooperation from elected officials.

"Dave is so environmentally sensitive," she said. "He is on board with it."

Sustainable Jersey’s partners are the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). Program sponsors include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, BPU, PSE&G, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, Bay Shore Recycling, EcoMatters, New Jersey American Water, Real Goods Solar, South Jersey Gas, Terhune Orchards, Waste Management of New Jersey, Atlantic City Electric, Citizens Campaign, Concord Engineering and the New Jersey Food Council.

 

Municipality

County

Status

Atlantic City

Atlantic

Certified

Glen Rock Borough

Bergen

Certified

Harrington Park Borough

Bergen

Certified

Park Ridge Borough

Bergen

Recertified

Mount Holly Twp.

Burlington

Certified

Camden City

Camden

Certified

Gloucester Twp.

Camden

Recertified at silver-level

Avalon Borough

Cape May

Certified

Cape May City

Cape May

Recertified at silver-level

Maplewood Twp.

Essex

Recertified

Glassboro Borough

Gloucester

Certified

Lambertville City

Hunterdon

Certified

Trenton City

Mercer

Certified

Woodbridge Twp.

Middlesex

Recertified at silver-level

Boonton Twp.

Morris

Certified

Mendham Twp.

Morris

Certified

Morris Plains Borough

Morris

Certified

Mount Arlington Borough

Morris

Certified

Washington Twp.

Morris

Recertified

Green Brook Twp.

Somerset

Certified

Hillsborough Twp.

Somerset

Recertified

Montgomery Twp.

Somerset

Recertified

Fanwood Borough

Union

Certified

Darren Gladden October 09, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Good give everyone a COOKIE and Mrs Green a big pat on da Back , Now what does the Township and it's taxpayers get in return for winning Silver .......... Just care , I do
Paul J. DiBartolo October 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Taxes and Cost-of-Living in NJ are horrendous and out of control...we need a smokescreen to keep our attention off of the man behind the curtain. Give them more circuses.
Charles October 10, 2012 at 02:01 PM
This is good news. I thought the "green team" had something to do with taking MY green and "redistributing" it to the party faithful. (Or maybe it does, who knows?)

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