Welcome to the home page for the Teaneck Environmental Commission. We welcome your questions, comments, inquiries and suggestions.
- 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 2020:
- Teaneck Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan: advocate for more bike racks and bike lanes throughout town, based on this ready to implement report from 2011. The report was not adopted back then, but with the still ongoing pandemic, residents are asking for safer biking conditions.
- 2020 Teaneck Garbage Pickup study: the current system is inefficient, and has a clear environmental impact. Numerous trucks pound potholes into the roads, increasing repaving costs, they also belch diesel fumes into the air and produce an extra 900,000+ pounds of airborne carbon. This waste is a by-product of a system that produces no clear benefits for residents, while adding to their costs. There is a clear, desirable path for action with Teaneck’s waste pickup.
(A previous suggestion was to have one hauler by half-zone, see this Trash Collection Proposal, as well as to submit PAYT proposal to Council, see this EPA implementation guide, but it would not be as cost efficient as using just one company for the entire township.)
- Keep the Leaves initiative: the EC would like to distribute this leaflet (based on Englewood's) 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.
- 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. (See all the benefits of trees listed here: Why Trees?)
- Recycling: how to help educate the community, including schools. Packing Styrofoam collection bin is now available at our Recycling Center.
- DPW facility improvements: Teaneck could join the Trex recycling program by collecting plastic bags and bringing them to the facility in Englewood. Improve signage on recycling containers. Offer quality composting bins for residents to purchase (see this example in Oakland, NJ.)
- Reduce the use of Plastic Bags: this Girl Scout initiative lead to the plastic bag fee ordinance, which should have taken effect in June 2018. Teaneck could be a leader in showing that New Jersey wants State action on disposable bags.
- Pollinator fields: starting with a pilot field in Windsor Park, the EC would like to turn susceptible areas into pollinator friendly fields.
- 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.
Update from SUEZ on lead in water can be found here (note that there are no new cases of elevated lead levels in Teaneck)
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 https://www.sustainableprinceton.org/waste/. 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: https://hometownwastenj.com/how-to-recycle-items-in-new-jersey/
• 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)
Roslyn D. Turner
Councilman Keith Kaplan
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 TeaneckRecycles on Facebook.