Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Leonia, Oakland, Oradell, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood and Wyckoff Receive the Sustainable Jersey Creativity and Innovation Award

For immediate release: January 10, 2020... Contact Carol Peterson at greenteam@oakland-nj.org
Green Team
Carol Peterson among the Bergen County Styrofoam HUB accepting the award

Oakland, NJ – On November 19, 2019, Sustainable Jersey representatives presented the Bergen County Hub Styrofoam Team with the 2019 Creativity and Innovation Award. To receive the award for Oakland, the Sustainable Oakland Green Team Chair, Carol Peterson along with the other members of the Sustainable Bergen County Hub Styrofoam Team from Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Leonia, Oradell,
Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood and Wyckoff at the Sustainable Jersey Luncheon at the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City, NJ to be recognized for their hard work on education, recycling and collection of styrofoam in Bergen County. This award recognizes municipalities for forward-thinking that supports a culture of creativity and innovation as it implements new approaches to solving problems.

In order to increase public awareness of the negative impacts of Styrofoam, a representative from each of these eight municipalities developed a curriculum called "The Science of Styrofoam" and hosted twelve trainings for students in the schools across the county. The program involved the local businesses and a certificate and a Bergen Styrofoam Free decal for those businesses to display. To date, this group has conducted nine collection drives, keeping over 3,000 lbs. of expanded polystyrene, or "EPS" used for packaging, out of the landfills!  Recently, the group also successfully urged the Bergen County Freeholders to pass a ban on XPS (or extruded polystyrene) food containers from all county property.

“It is an honor to have such dedicated and community minded individuals in Oakland who pursue their passions for the greater good of the community to make the place we live a cleaner environment for all. The collaborative efforts of the Bergen County Hub Styrofoam Team have brought incredible positive change to Bergen County and beyond. Their leadership has transformed communities using educational programs for children, awarding businesses for sustainable practices, hosting collection drives throughout the county and working with legislators on creating laws for clean communities.”  -- Linda Schwager, Mayor of Oakland

“The need for sustainability action has never been more urgent as New Jersey tops the list as one of the fastest-warming states in the nation. The municipalities that are receiving Sustainable Jersey’s highest recognition awards have set a new bar and aspirational example for other communities to meet as they pursue sustainability goals,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “As we mark Sustainable Jersey’s 10th anniversary, I’d like to congratulate the award winners for their efforts and dedication to their communities. Thank you for innovating and growing with Sustainable Jersey!”

In addition to the programs recognized by Sustainable Jersey, the Sustainable Oakland Green Team was awarded in 2019 a $3,000 Grant from Bergen County Utility Authority to purchase two recycling collection bins to help the Borough of Oakland work continuously to further remove hazardous expanded polystyrene (block styrofoam) and plastic film from our waste stream and to keep it out of New Jersey’s landfills. The purchase of these bins is part of a program the Sustainable Oakland Green Team lead to provide a centralized location for Oakland residents to drop off plastic and styrofoam materials at times that are convenient for residents. EPS recycling helps to reduce the volume of material we send to our landfills which cuts down our carbon footprint and keeps our waterways free of material which often leads to the death of fish, birds and wildlife due to consumption, and to reduce the amount of styrene contamination in our aquifer. These bins can be found at the Oakland First Aid Squad parking lot at 285 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ.

The Borough of Oakland is a Sustainable Jersey Certified Bronze municipality. Certification is submitted by the Sustainable Oakland Green Team, and chaired by Carol Peterson. Look forward to upcoming events including additional Science of Styrofoam labs in 2020. If interested in joining the green team please contact the chair at greenteam@oakland-nj.com.

About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 80 percent or 452 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 342 school districts and 889 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.

Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, the PSEG
Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Sustainable Jersey Grants program for municipalities is funded by PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. Platinum and 10th Anniversary sponsors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and PSEG. The Gold Sponsor is Elizabethtown Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor). Silver Sponsors are NJM Insurance Group (10th
Anniversary Sponsor), Bayshore Recycling (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Northfield Bank (10th Anniversary Sponsor), New Jersey American Water (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Jersey Central Power & Light (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Atlantic Health System (10th Anniversary Sponsor) and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The Bronze Sponsors are Covanta, Greener by Design, Ørsted, Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Cappelli LLC, First Environment, Roux Associates, Republic Services, The ECG Group, Bryan Electric, and Red Oak Power.

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