Green Team Developing Sustainable Strategies For Township
Team, strategies are part of Wayne obtaining certification from the Sustainable Jersey program.
Residents and officials are working to make Wayne a certified, sustainable community.
The certification program is run by Sustainable Jersey, an initiative of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and a coalition of non-profit organizations and state agencies.
The township formed the team in March of 2011.
The Wayne Green Team meets once a month to discuss strategies, recommend actions, and develop programs that will lead to obtaining the certification, said town planner John Szabo.
Under the 3-year-old program, municipalities receive points for completing various actions, such as forming a Green Team, performing an energy audit on municipal buildings, and adopting a water conservation ordinance, to name a few; 150 points are needed for attain bronze status, 350 are needed to achieve silver status.
There are 16 categories of actions, each with subcategories, including reducing a municipality’s carbon footprint, developing a climate action plan, and conducting an audit of bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly roads and facilities.
Municipalities must provide documented evidence of each action. Program partners review the evidence and award points when they determine an action has been satisfactorily completed.
Szabo said that there are other steps businesses, houses of worship, and other municipal-level groups can take to reducing the municipality’s carbon footprint, including adopting practices that conserve water, determining alternatives to using hazardous chemicals in their production processes, even promoting the use of reusable shopping bags.
Municipalities can apply for grants to help them fund green initiatives during the certification process. Nearly $600,000 has been awarded to municipalities since the program began in 2009.
Schools can apply for $1,500 to help support gardening activities.
Other nearby municipalities participating in the program are: Pequannock, Wyckoff, and Hawthorne.
The team will meet next on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Wayne Public Library’s main branch.