Environmental Commission


Welcome to the home page for the Teaneck Environmental Commission.  We welcome your questions, comments, inquiries and suggestions.

The Commission:

  • 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 makes 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 2019:

  • Private Tree Ordinance: continue collaborative work with groups including Shade Tree Advisory Board, Hackensack River Greenway Advisory Board, Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Friends of the Greenway, Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board. Try and have Teaneck adopt a similar ordinance to Tenafly.
  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan, aka "Complete Streets," was passed in 2017. Advocate for more bike racks and bike lanes throughout town.
  • Recycling: how to help educate the community, including schools. Styrofoam collection bin is now available at our Recycling Center, thanks to our Township and DPW managers!
  • Reduce the use of Plastic Bags: this Girl Scout initiative lead to the plastic bag fee ordinance, which should have taken effect in June of last year. Teaneck could be a leader in showing that New Jersey wants state action on disposable bags.
  • Trash Collection Proposal: introduce 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 Council (see this EPA implementation guide)
  • Leave the Leaves initiative: the EC would like to distribute a similar leaflet (based on Teaneck's cost of leaf removal) to all residents. It promotes using leaves as mulch instead of sweeping them into the streets.
  • Leaf blower restrictions: amending the town's noise ordinance to limit usage of internal combustion leaf-blowers especially during summer months.
  • No-idling campaign was put into NJ law in 2018.
  • NJ State Water Plan: propose the Water Conservation Ordinance, by Sustainable Jersey.
  • Stormwater Management: advocate and educate to reduce stormwater runoff.
  • 10 Minute Walk campaign: Teaneck has joined this campaign to increase equitable park access and quality through local policy changes, master planning efforts, and increased funding.
  • Meadowland Powerplant: a resolution, modeled on the one passed by numerous Bergen towns, was adopted by the Council–Teaneck opposed the construction of the power plant.
  • Advance sustainability: assist Town in recertification under Sustainable Jersey Program.

Why leave this for future generations to deal with, when we can start making changes now?


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/

Useful websites (list in progress):

• 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

• Vacuum cleaner repair: https://www.oradellvacuum.com/

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, and at the deli counter, they will fill your container.

• Baskin Robbins (332 Cedar Lane) will fill a BYO container with their ice cream. Same goes for Bischoff's , for high end ice-cream.

• New To You (449 Cedar Lane) for high end second hand clothes.

Pickelicious (384 Cedar Lane) for pickles and candy.

Peck Peck Chicken (250 Degraw Ave) will put your take-out in your containers, if you ask.

Print out the tips sheet below by clicking on it, then dragging it to your desktop:

The Environmental Commission’s statutory authority is in the town code.

(7) Regular members, one of which must also serve on the Planning Board, with 3-year terms.  (2) Alternates, designated #1 and #2, with staggered terms of 2 years.  (Twp Code Art XXI, Sec 2-123)

Regular Members:

1          Bettina Hempel-Gilbert (Chair)                                                                6/30/20

2.         Phillip Rhodes (Vice Chair)                                                                        6/30/21

3.         Donald Daume                                                                                               6/30/21

4.         Aryeh Meir                                                                                                      6/30/22

5.         Rosyln D. Turner                                                                                            6/30/20

6.         Peter Goldman                                                                                               6/30/22

Env. Comm. Rep to Planning Board

7.         Karen Orgen (Env. Comm. Rep to Planning Board)                             6/30/21

Alternate #1:                                                                                                             

David Zatz                                                                                                       6/30/21

Alternate #2: 

Kenneth R. Hoffman, M.D.                                                                         6/30/20

Council Liaison:  Councilman Keith Kaplan  (Res. #163-2018 )                             

Meeting minutes


Statutory Powers and By-laws


2018 Annual Report

Teaneck is proud to be a Certified Sustainable Jersey Community.
For more tips on recycling and solid waste, visit Bergen County Utilities Authority

For up-to-date local and global environmental news, visit and like Facebook TeaneckRecycles on Facebook.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of the Township's Boards or Commissions, click here!