REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20190521

REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20190521

Attendance:

REAC: Bob Upton, Christine Amundsen, Pam Perron, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison), Robert Kearney (Village Staff Rep).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Bob Upton, Cathy Brienza, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).

Other: Rich Calbi, Serena Iacoviello, Chris Houghton, Dianne Kidwell, Bob Leibow.

  1. Introductions/Membership update:

We welcomed Rich Calbi of Ridgewood Water & Recycling/Sanitation Depts who asked to speak about Earth Day 2020.

Mike reported that Village Council appointment of new committee members is imminent.

  1. No changes were suggested to the April minutes but again due to absences we could not approve the March or April minutes.
  2. Sustainable Jersey
  3. Plans for Silver recertification.

We are depending on committee members to be advancing their assigned Actions. Rob & Cathy are in discussion with Dawn Cetrulo about lead education plans (see below). Serena & Rob were looking for raingarden info & were referred to Chris R. Mike has a picture of the Village medicine collection.

  1. Gold Star Standard in Waste

Waste Reduction & Recycling Level Reporting: General discussion about the desire to establish baseline data for waste & recycling. Bob will follow up with Johanna about expected County data. In spite of the success of the Styrofoam collection addressing that product has little impact on waste weight. Rich sees food waste reduction as more impactful and continues to explore options.

  1. Green Business Program

George & Pam have had valuable meetings with It’s Greek to Me and Café 37 who are willing to work with a “core group” of restaurants. The questionnaire is evolving with learnings from these visits.

  1. SJ Bergen Hub
  2. “Styrofoam” Program: The Ridgewood Styrofoam collection drive on Saturday was hugely successful. Estimated about 300 lbs (2 truckloads) of Styrofoam were collected and delivered to Foam Pack for recycling. Other BC Hub towns have similar events scheduled (next Leonia June 8, Oradell June 15).
  3. Justin, Bob & Christine attended the Hub meeting at Glen Rock May 13th. Good presentations including Glen Rock’s Energy Aggregation program. Next Hub meeting Fair Lawn July 15th, topic Solar.
  4. Energy Aggregation: Cathy, Pam, Serena & Christine have formed a sub-committee to learn about these programs including Glen Rock’s and perhaps schedule a meeting with them.
  5. Rebranding/By-Laws: Following our last meeting it was realized that some revisions were still needed to the proposed “Green Ridgewood” by-laws and that there are inconsistencies and omissions in the Ordinances establishing the two committees. Bob will review the three documents and suggest revisions but also everyone should familiarize themselves with them. Rob reviewed some learnings from his recent ANJEC training on the topic of committee vs commission. We will review the differences in future discussion.
  6. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair 2020: Event is scheduled for April 19th. In the past few years a Village department has been featured at the Fair (Water, Recycling, Parks). Rich, representing the Earth Day Committee, suggested that for 2020 Green Ridgewood/Green Team be featured. The consensus of those present was to move ahead with the decision to be formalized when we have a quorum. Bob will contact Sustainable Jersey and ANJEC to see if they are interested in participating.
  7. Single Use Plastic Bag Ban – The proposed ordinance was introduced at the Village Council meeting May 8th and should be voted on at the next Village Council Public meeting June 12th.
  8. Grants & Opportunities
  9. Our application for a $1,500 ANJEC Open Space Stewardship Grants, for an Eagle Scout project for the Parks Dept was unsuccessful. Bob has asked ANJEC for some insight as to why.
  10. Similarly Bob will follow up with SJ about our failed Food Waste Grant application.
  11. Suggested uses for REAC funds.
  12. RHS & BFMS/RAEC Grant: We are awaiting confirmation that the schools have submitted their forms and that the check has been issued.
  13. Middle school sustainability/environmental grant – no discussion.
  14. Purchase re-usable shopping bags: Agreed that after the vote on the Plastic Bag ordinance we will discuss the education requirements which can include distributing re-usable shopping bags.
  15. Regenerative Environmentalism (Permaculture) Meet-Up Group – Leslie was not available for an update. The scheduled May 15th meeting was postponed. Possible next meeting June 19th – date and topic to be confirmed.
  16. Educational events
  17. “Schoolhouse Rock – Earth” was postponed due to poor response. We hope to reschedule later in the year with improved promotion.
  18. Water Bottle Filling Station Promotion – REAC and LWV had a table at the RBSA Family Fun Day and Pam has attended some games to promote the water bottle refilling stations.
  19. Lead Education: As noted Rob & Cathy are working with Health Dept. Date TBD. Focus school age children – paint, antiques etc. Rob will review latest school testing.
  20. Glen Rock had about 150 people attend the movie “Plastic Ocean” which was highly praised. Perhaps to be included in our Plastic Bag education efforts?
  21. Master Plan/Visioning – Watch for public meetings starting soon.
  22. Schools. – no update.
  23. Presentation to Midland Park Boro Council – Bob will follow up after the Plastic Bag vote.
  24. Plaque for Andy Antista Tree: The plaque is installed and can be viewed behind the Stable.
  25. Future start/finish times for our meetings: All responses to the survey of preferred start time either favored 7.00 PM or had no preference so we will continue to start at 7.
  26. Artificial Turf: Following the conversation on this topic at the last meeting Mike & Bob met with Linda McNamara. Bob reiterated that he feels REAC is obligated to inform itself about this complicated topic because of our “duties & responsibilities” and because the 2009 REAC report is still being used to endorse one product. Bob will research the subject and invites others to join him in the endeavor. However, we understand the RHS field decisions have been made but this will be an ongoing discussion as more fields need to be refurbished.
  27. New business: Pam brought some recycled paper goods (from Whole Foods) with the suggestion we try them. They are
  28. Toilet paper, 365 brand, 100% recycled whitened without bleach, actually (80% post-consumer recycled paper).
  29. Facial tissues, Seventh Generation brand, 100% recycled (minimum 50% post-consumer recycled paper maximum/ 50% pre-consumer recycled paper ). 
  30. Paper Towels, Seventh Generation brand, unbleached 100% recycled (minimum 80% post-consumer recycled fiber).
  31. Next Joint Meeting: Tuesday June 18th, 7.00 PM.
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