- conducts research into the use and possible use of open land areas
- works cooperatively with local and national not-for-profits with similar interests in protecting the environment
- prepares materials for public distribution
- maintains an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas
- makes recommendations to the Planning Board of plans and programs for inclusion in a Master Plan and the development and use of such areas
- studies and make recommendations concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna
- may, subject to the approval of the Council, acquire property, both real and personal, on behalf of the town and can administer the property subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift
- promotes actions by the town government, its residents and businesses, that enhance environmental sustainability, including but not limited to waste management, recycling, energy efficiency, best practices in design, construction, operations, landscaping, energy efficiency, air and water quality, and purchasing.
Here is a list of the major goals for 2016:
- Private Tree Ordinance. Improve Intergroup Relations & Coordination with groups including Shade Tree Advisory Board, Hackensack River Greenway Advisory Baord, Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Friends of the Greenway, Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board.
- Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan, aka "Complete Streets". Follow Up with the Council.
- Recycling. How to help educate the community, including schools.
- Reducing the use of Plastic Bags. Keep a close watch on the advance of this Girl Scout initiative, to try and bring them support.
- Trash Collection Proposal (introducing public waste collection, minimizing the waste and traffic of multiple carriers serving the same streets, by presenting a bidding process for each of Teaneck's eight collection zones), as well as submitting PAYT proposal to the Council (see this EPA implementation guide)
- Advance Sustainability: Merge Sustainability Commission into EC; Reorganize Green Team; Assist Town in recertification under Sustainable Jersey Program.
Why leave this for future generations to deal with, when we can start making changes now?
SOME STEPS TOWARDS A ZERO WASTE TEANECK (for residents)
BEGINNER (for those just beginning to think about Zero Waste)
- don't forget to BYO bag when shopping
- recycle 1's 2's and 5's in yellow recycling bin
- pack lunches in reusable containers and bags
INTERMEDIATE (for those looking to step up their waste reduction game)
- stop buying bottled water (install a filter, for example GE SmartWater)
- buy products with less packaging
- shop second hand stores, Craigslist, freecycle, etc. before buying new
ADVANCED (for those trying to incorporate Zero Waste principles into all aspects of their lives)
- leave grass clippings on your lawn or sow no-mow lawn, use fallen leaves and branches as mulch around plantings
- compost in your backyard
- join our local Community Supported Agriculture farm
EXPERT (for those looking to advace Zero Waste movement beyond just themselves)
- stop using disposable, single-use plastic (such as cups, plates, plastic silverware, etc.)
- encourage local restaurants or businesses to go Zero Waste (and allow for BYO containers)
- host a Zero Waste event to educate others
Tip sheet based on http://www.sustainableprinceton.org/waste-for-residents/. To learn more on how to work towards a Zero Waste home, visit Bea Johnson’s website (or read her book): http://www.zerowastehome.com/about/tips/
NJ recycling website: http://www.recyclingnj.com/index.html
Mattress recycling: http://www.cjpgroup.net/
CD & inkjet cartridge recycling: http://www.cdrecyclingcenter.org/centers/submission
Teaneck businesses where you can buy in bulk or at the counter (list in progress):
- Teaneck Farmers' Market (Thursdays, June through October, noon - 5 pm). Otherwise Stop & Shop now offers many vegetables in bulk.
- Baskin Robbins (332 Cedar Lane) will fill a BYO container with their ice cream. Same goes for Bischoff's, for high end ice-cream.
- Kay's New To You (449 Cedar Lane) for high end second hand clothes.
The Environmental Commission's statutory authority is in the town code. The current membership is:
Aryeh Meir, Chair
Phil Rhodes, Vice Chair
Bettina Hempel-Gilbert, Secretary
Mark Zomick, Planning Board Representative
Mohammed Hameeduddin, Council Liaison
Teaneck is proud to be a Certified Sustainable Jersey Community.
To learn more about our sustainability and recycling programs, visit the Teaneck Green Blog.
TeaneckRecycles on Facebook