Sustainable Jersey Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Paramus Boro (Bergen), a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Paramus Boro (Bergen) was certified on February 28, 2013 with 180 points. Listed below is information regarding Paramus Boro (Bergen)’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Paramus Boro (Bergen) is:

Name:Joseph A. Sexton III
Title/Position:Director / Shade Tree & Parks
Address:1 Jockish Square
Paramus, NJ 07652
Phone:201-265-2100 ext. 4120

Sustainability Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Paramus Boro (Bergen) was approved for in 2013 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action. Additionally, points associated with actions prior to 2013 certifications may not be accurate.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points Bronze Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Paramus formally established its Green Team on July 17, 2012, when Mayor Richard LaBarbiera and the Council of the Borough of Paramus unanimously adopted resolution 12-7-492. The 11 member team consists of Mayor Richard LaBarbiera, two members of the City Council, various department heads, and interested members of the community. The team meets on an on going basis to review accomplishments and to set next steps. Its members have made strides in achieving major mile stones with actions towards creating a sustainable community.

  • Green Fairs

    Hold a Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Paramus Earth Day Fair is an annual event sponsored by the Paramus Environmental Commission. The event’s main goal is to educate the community about local natural resources, as well as local conservation and preservation efforts, emphasizing and demonstrating green sustainable procedures and programs. The event featured the following local groups; Hackensack Riverkeeper, Bergen County Audubon Society, Paramus Shade Tree and Parks Commission, United Water, Borough of Oradell Environmental Commission, (see attached program for full list of exhibitors). Participants set up tables and displayed educational brochures featuring environmentally sound “green” practices and concepts to promote sustainable goals. Exhibitors also handed out promotional materials about their organization. Students from The Paramus High School Advanced Placement Environmental Science Class displayed projects which they have worked on throughout the year. East Brook Middle School students also displayed their various science projects related to the environment. This annual event will continue to provide information about our local natural resources and environmental awareness by showing residents how easily they can implement small sustainable measures in their own homes to make the entire community green and sustainable for future generations.

  • Diversity & Equity

    Lead Education and Outreach Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    With the Health Department as the chief catalyst, the Borough of Paramus maintains a proactive Lead Poisoning awareness program. The program is designed primarily for educational and awareness purposes and also has a blood screening function. During community events the Health Department partners with other municipal entities to educate the Borough’s residents on the dangers and hazards of Lead.

  • Support Local Food

    Farmers Markets

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Paramus Farmer’s Market was approved by Mayor Richard LaBarbiera and the Council of the Borough of Paramus in April 2012. The market opened on June 20th and will run through September 26th, every Wednesday from 3 -7 pm. The event is sponsored by the Paramus Environmental Commission, who’s goal is to supply the community with fresh, local food and produce. The market is open to all who wish to attend, and is held at Petruska Park, which is located at 475 Farview Avenue in Paramus. The park offers ample parking and is easily accessible by public transportation. Although still in its infancy, the market is well attended by both vendors and the public. Through out the season the market is advertised in local and regional newspapers as well as on the Environmental Commission’s website, www,paramusec.org. Signs are strategically placed throughout the community to guide visitors and residents to the market’s location. The market is also advertised on the town’s electronic billboard. At the end of the day, the market supports the Paramus Food Pantry with donations of fresh fruit, vegetables, and baked goods. In turn the pantry uses that donation to feed the town’s less fortunate families. Since its grand opening in June the market has seen tremendous growth and averaged 700-800 attendees and has 15 vendors each week. Because this is the market’s first year, it is projected to be self sustaining with projected expenses averaging $4900, and with a projected income of $5000. Each week, the Borough’s Shade Tree and Parks department along with DPW prepares the location and assists with set up and breakdown.

  • Health & Wellness

    Building Healthier Communities

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Program was adapted by Mayor Richard LaBarbiera and the Council of the Borough of Paramus in January of 2012 as Resolution 12-1-043. Spear headed by the Borough’s Health Department the program featured four distinct events each designed for the specific needs for each of the following groups: Youth in Motion, Seniors in Motion, Community in Motion, and Employees in Motion. The department moved quickly to establish partnerships with local health food stores and fitness centers. The events, as highlighted in the attached flyers, focused on overall health, wellness, nutrition and a shift to a healthier lifestyle. The preprograms reached out to all age brackets in the community and were well received by those who attended. Although the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign is a new program, it is off to a successful start and the Health Department is planning to expand the program next year to include a friendly weight loss competition. The department has also begun to explore new partnerships with additional fitness centers and other healthy lifestyle program providers in the community.

  • Innovation & Demonstration Projects

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    In 2009, the Borough of Paramus purchased a centrifuge machine for the purpose of producing its own Biodiesel. The centrifuge removes impurities from waste cooking oil, with the resulting product being a pure, clean and environmental friendly non petroleum additive to the Borough’s diesel, for use by the entire fleet of diesel fuel vehicles. As a result of the centrifuge the Borough has reduced its annual diesel fuel consumption by 5%, which over three years equates to more than 18,000 gallons of fuel. This has resulted in reduced fuel cost by approximately $63,000. Along with these reductions the centrifuge has created even more efficiency by virtue of its use over the entire fleet, it is not just a single vehicle add-on. Thereby, positively impacting the environment by reducing the Borough’s emissions and carbon footprint.

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Sustainable Land use Pledge was reviewed by members of the Paramus Green team in July of 2012, at which time it was decided to further explore the virtues of this pledge. The pledge was reviewed by the Paramus Environmental Commission, Planning Board, and Zoning Board. After brief discussion it was agreed that the pledge fits perfectly into our community’s short as well as long term land use goals. The proposed resolution was sent to Mayor Richard LaBarbiera and the Council of the Borough of Paramus for review and consideration. The pledge was formally adopted as Resolution 12-12-818 on December 26, 2012. The adopted resolution has been distributed to the Paramus Environmental Commission, Planning Board, and Zoning Board. It is through this Resolution that the Borough of Paramus will continue improving the quality of life for its residents while protecting the natural resources of our community.

  • Natural Resources

    Environmental Commission

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Paramus Environmental Commission was established on December 12, 1972 as part of Ord. No. 72-33 (Ch. 6, Art. 6, of the 1969 Code), a copy of the ordinance is attached. The Environmental Commission was created to: help protect and develop our natural resources and to encourage the acquisition of open space and green acres. To raise the consciousness and to educate all residents in daily conservation practices. The commission is very much a resident facing entity in our community, and hosts several major events throughout the year, as noted in the attached report. The commission also actively interacts with our school board to offer scholarship and hold environmentally focused educational programs. The commission’s website can be viewed at www.paramusec.org .

  • Natural Resource Protection Ordinances

    Environmental Assessment Ordinance

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Paramus has had an Environmental Assessment Ordinance in place since 1992. It can be found in Chapter 223 of the Borough’s code, or at http://ecode360.com/8541478 . The ordinance has been updated numerous times so that it reflects the most current trends in zoning, development, and New Jersey Sate law. The Ordinance states that applicants must provide an inventory of existing environmental conditions, at the project site and in the affected region, which identifies surrounding environmental conditions. This statement must include an inventory of the natural features, the environmental performance controls required during construction and the impact and alternatives to the project, together with proposals for mitigating any potential impact on the natural resources. The purpose and intent of this ordinance is to encourage the conservation of the valuable and environmentally sensitive natural features and resources within the Borough, and to prevent the long-term degradation of the environment to the common benefit of the community. Overall the environmental assessment helps access the impact a potential development has on the environment within the Borough of Paramus and the adjacent communities.

  • Tree & Woodlands Management

    Community Forestry Plan and Tree Cover Goal

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    No description was provided.

    Tree Maintenance Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Paramus recognizes the importance of taking an integrated approach to maintaining our tree stock and has an active program to prune trees and remove diseased or decaying trees as necessary. This proactive approach keeps the overall tree stock healthier and reduces risks to people and property. Tree maintenance and removal is performed by the Borough’s Shade Tree staff. The Shade Tree and Parks Commission is an active participant at the Paramus Earth Day Event, where community members can get educational material regarding general tree health and maintenance, as well as pest control and prevention.

    Tree Planting Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Through the Shade Tree and Parks Commission, the Borough of Paramus has an active tree planting program and is proud to be celebrating its 36th year as a 'Tree City USA” community. The experts on the Commission work to select locations, species, and number of tree to be planted. The Borough maintains its own tree nursery which assures an ample supply of trees for on going planting or replacement programs. The following is a summary of one of Paramus’ recent planting projects, as reflected in the attached files. During 2008 the Paramus Municipal Pool was closed. Soil testing revealed contamination in various locations and depths through out the pool area. The existing 72 trees were inventoried and assessed using the ISA formula for tree evaluation. Further analysis indicated contamination under most of the 72 trees and it was determined that they had to be removed to properly mitigate the soil issue. A plan was put into place to remove the existing trees and then replant the location.. A private contractor installed 15 large caliper trees with a tree spade and Shade tree crews planted an addition 103 shade, ornamental and evergreen trees for a total replanting of 118 trees. Shade Tree & Parks crews have and continue to check and maintain the new trees at this location.

  • Operations & Maintenance

    Adopt Behavioral Policies

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Mayor Richard LaBarbiera and the Council of the Borough of Paramus recognized that there are everyday actions that the borough employees can do to save the borough money and help to sustain our local environment. To that end, the green team proposed a resolution to adopt energy saving behaviors to be followed by all borough employees. The resolution was reviewed and approved by Mayor Labarbiera and the Borough Council on December 11, 2012, as resolution 12-12-775.

  • Green Fleets

    Fleet Inventory

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    In August of 2012 the Green Team started the task of inventorying the Borough’s vehicular fleet. The appointed team member worked closely with the Fleet Manager to compile and analyze the Borough’s extensive fleet. As a result of this analysis several areas of improvement were brought to light, including fuel inefficiencies and outdated practices

    Purchase Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    In 2003 the Borough of Paramus accepted delivery of two Alternate Fuel Vehicle. Both are 2003 Honda Civic NGV 4DR, which run on Natural Gas. These vehicles are designated for use by the Buildings Department, and are used daily by the Borough’s inspectors. In keeping with the Borough self sufficiency model, the DPW also purchased a Natural Gas refueling station as seen in the attached pictures. Please see the attached purchase orders, receipts, and pictures.

  • Recycling

    Community Paper Shredding Day

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Paramus held it first Community Paper Shredding Day on October 20, 2012. The event was held at the Borough’s DPW complex and was staffed by DPW personnel as well as Boy Scout volunteers. The event was advertised in local newspapers, flyers placed in the library and schools. Flyers were also mailed to all of the Borough’s residents. The event drew an overwhelmingly successful response. The four hour event yielded nearly 11,000 pounds of shredded paper. The initial success of the event has sparked interest in making Paper Shredding Day a more regular occurrence on the DPW calendar.

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Paramus’ Recycling Center is available only to the residents of Paramus, and businesses located with in its borders. Proof of residency may be requested at anytime. The center is located within the municipal complex adjacent to the DPW building. The center is staffed to assist residents as needed. Material accepted includes all household recyclables such as paper and glass, as well as household electronics and used motor oil. For the convenience of our residents, in May of 2012, the center installed after hour containers on the outside of the center’s fence. This allows residents to recycle at their convenience, even if the center is closed. These bins accept the follwing materials; newspaper, junk mail, and comingled items such as glass and plastic. The borough also publishes a calendar for curbside pick up of comingled materials and paper recycling, once a week, on alternating weeks. The borough offers curb side pick up of all metallic items and white goods such as refrigerators and washer/dryer machines. Further, inorder to encourage businesses to recycle, in 2012 the borough has instituted a commercial recycling pickup program, at no charge to the business. The attached PDF is comprised of scans from our annual collections and DPW information calendar sent to Paramus residents.