Green Ridgewood-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20191217

Green Ridgewood-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20191217


Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Yvone Nava, Jennie Smith Wilson (School Board Rep).

Green Team: Justin Manger, George Wolfson, Bob Upton, Serena Iacoviello.

Other: Diala Pharaon, Miles Luo

  1. Welcome/Introductions: We welcomed Miles Luo, RHS teacher who supports the school’s Green Club.
  2. Approve November minutes: Neither committee had a quorum present nevertheless agenda topics were discussed. Approval of the November minutes was postponed. Fortunately some new participants in our meetings and others have expressed interest in membership so we will review current memberships and expirations.
  3. School Issues:
  4. 2019 RHS/BFMS Grant

We are waiting to hear that the RHS Green Club and BFMS club have been able to make their purchases with the grant money we awarded last school year.

  1. 2019/20 Middle School Grant Proposal

We await a response form BFMS & GWMS to our request for more information to support their applications to extend the hydroponics unit purchases and greenhouse installations funded last year. Bob will follow-up.

  1. New programs

Diala Pharaon and Joanna Hanrahan are working to engage HSA’s, parents and Girl & Boy Scouts in actions to support sustainability, perhaps through participation in Earth Day Fair. Diala noted that Orchard is eliminating plastic water bottles. Also Denise Lee, Willard parent, provided an update on activities at their Green Club. Diala has also suggested including Green Ridgewood in the GWMS 7th grade community service program. We will explore this further.

  1. Glen Rock Energy Aggregation Program – “DEAL”

This topic postponed to later meeting, however, it became apparent there is still some confusion about the mechanics of this program, specifically how the sourcing of electricity is affected.

  1. Sustainable Jersey
  2. Silver recertification.

Justin reviewed requirements for Silver recertification, 350 points including Green Team + 3 priority actions. He will recap projected points score for next meeting. Regarding the Anti-Idling Resolution (see October minutes), Ellie has offered to check if it expired. Bob recently forwarded some grant info to Ridgewood Arts Council and reached out to them for a contact. We should explore opportunity to get SJ points from their programs.

  1. Green Business Program.

Ongoing, George & Pam have now signed up 10 restaurants.

  1. Waste reduction/food waste:

George & Bob attended Village Recycling Dept. Operations Meeting on Nov 26. Confirmed they are hoping to move ahead with the pilot program to accept food waste early next year.

SJ suggested Gary Sondemeyer as a speaker on recycling issues for the Hub. No plans to schedule him there and no immediate need noted to do so in Ridgewood.

  1. Lead Education. No update.
  2. Drug take-back program.

Walgreens upper management is not inclined to initiate drug take-back at Ridgewood branch. The local manager’s drug bank concept was received with enthusiasm at meeting with Ridgewood & Fair Lawn Health Depts. but he has many obstacles to address.

  1. SJ Bergen Hub
  2. Hub meetings.

Bob & Pam attended the November 25th Hub meeting in Ridgefield Park. See Styrofoam below.

Englewood, with buy-in from Ridgefield Park & Bogota, will purchase a baler for plastic to be sold to Trex with the funds generated used to purchase an EPS condenser. Other towns are invited to participate but the program does not appear attractive to Ridgewood due to collection/transportation issues. Note from the Hub minutes: “Englewood DPW Director, Ray Rodney, would like Englewood to be the hub for sustainable waste diversion. He is open to ideas”. Contact Dan Feliciano on their Green Team,

Next meeting scheduled for Glen Rock January 13th. Possible topic the Eastern Ash Borer.

  1. “Styrofoam” Program.

Ridgewood and the 7 other towns in the Bergen Styrofoam Free initiative received the creativity & innovation award at the SJ Annual Luncheon which was accepted by Mayor Hache. 9 collection drives, 3,000lbs EPS recycled, 12 educational trainings, ongoing business recognition program and push for XPS bans.

The next scheduled collection drive (open to all) will be Dec 28th at Hackensack Yacht Club. (See our Facebook page for details). Glen Rock plan to hold 3 in the new year.

  1. Green Ridgewood Rebranding/By-Laws/Web Site.

No progress reported drafting by-laws for Green Ridgewood/Green Team.

Justin continues dialog with the Village IT Manager. Meanwhile is operational.

  1. Single Use Plastic Carry-Out Bags Ordinance
  2. Education Program

Informational “bookmarks” have been distributed at the Village Hall, Library, Unitarian Society event and with our outreach to shoppers at Stop & Shop and Kings with our logo reusable shopping bags. Willard 4th grade Girl Scouts distributed bookmarks to downtown businesses on Dec 13th. Another shopping bag hand-out is scheduled. Thanks to Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh who helped with the outreach and has offered to purchase additional shopping bags for our education program. We sent a second e-mail reminder to the Guild and Chamber of Commerce.

  1. State Legislation

On December 16th Bob participated in a “lobby day” at the statehouse in support of the state bill on single-use plastics (S2776/A4330) organized by ANJEC and other NJ environmental groups. We met with Assemblyman Rooney to pitch the benefits and deliver an e-mail from Mayor Hache in support. The bill bans single use plastic and paper bags and XPS food products and restricts use of plastic straws. Full vote expected in January.

  1. Events: Movie

George has suggested that, in line with our waste reduction focus, the movie ”Wasted” be considered for a future event, perhaps with the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood or at the library. See Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (2017) - IMDb -

  1. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair, April 19th 2020.

An Earth Day subcommittee met on December 7th: Bob, George, Pam, Yvone, Christine, Justin, Anthea, Diala plus Dave Amundsen. We brainstormed topics to include in our booth with homework assignment to group them under four main umbrella categories of Green Ridgewood, Waste Reduction/Recycling, Educating the Educators and Energy. Serena distributed an outline of a raingarden exhibit. Serena has also expanded on Clean Water Action’s offer of support which is to help greening the vendors & exhibitors. Next meeting January 11th. Also Rich Calbi will host the first Village planning meeting January 15th.

  1. Updates.
  2. Willard Girl Scouts. See above in Single Use Plastic Bag Education.
  3. Grants

SJ Roots for Rivers grant application deadline has passed and the Village did not apply.

SJ’s annual PSE&G Foundation grants cycle is now open offering 4 x $20,000, 8 x $10,000 and 20 x $2,000 grants, application deadline February 14th. Similarly the program offers grants for schools: 4 x $10,000 and 30 x $2,000, deadline March 13th. We need suggestions. A question was raised whether the Village still engages a grant writer.

  1. Shade Tree Commission.

It was noted again that the Shade Tree Commission asked us to support the inclusion in the upcoming Village budget of funds to replace lost public trees on a 1:1 basis.

  1. New business: Joanna Hanrahan has proposed forming a Green Facebook group and increasing our social media presence and it was proposed she and Justin meet (with others if interested) to form an informal social media subcommittee.
  2. Next Joint Meeting will be Tuesday January 21st at 7:00 PM in the Garden Room.