Sustainable Jersey Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Ridgewood Village, a Sustainable Jersey silver certified applicant.

Ridgewood Village was certified on December 12, 2017 with 380 points. Listed below is information regarding Ridgewood Village’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Ridgewood Village is:

Name:Mike Sedon
Title:Council Liasion, Ridgewood Green Team Advisory Committee
Address:131 North Maple Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Ridgewood Village was approved for in 2017 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • Animals in the Community

    Animals in the Community Education

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Ridgewood actively educates and informs its residents on animals in the community. Ridgewood has a proven track record of inter-governmental, community and volunteer partnerships working to actively engage children, adults and disabled persons with wildlife and nature. The Friends, Parks and Recreation and the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands co-sponsored a Close Encounters with Birds of Prey Event at the Ridgewood Public Library. The Ridgewood Parks and Recreation Department invited “Snakes n Scales” to provide shows for youth who are passionate about turtles, frogs, fish, spiders and insects. Registration is open for Green Kids, an after school educational program that enables children to experience nature through hands on projects. Sponsored by Ridgewood Parks and Recreation and the Women Gardeners of Ridgewood, the Green Kids program teaches children about local hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and more in the Butterfly Garden. These programs are just a few of the many organized by the Ridgewood Parks and Recreation in partnership with the community. In January 2014, Ridgewood was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the National Wildlife Federation for a Certified Wildlife Habitat site. Another volunteer organization, Ridgewood Wildscape Association, acts as guardians of undeveloped areas in the village by encouraging residents to use the “wild” areas and to experience the varied flora and fauna. One important educational program at the Ridgewood Public Library is Read To A Dog, where children spend 15 minutes reading to a certified therapy dog. It is the longest running program of its type in the county. It is a perfect example of animals helping the community, and has had a huge impact on autism awareness and other special needs. In 2014, Ridgewood was awarded a dog-friendly community award. The town worked with its residents and local AKC clubs and Federations like Ramapo Kennel Club and New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs to establish the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee.

    Companion Animal Management Pledge

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Ridgewood has for many years pursued practices which are encouraged in the subject action description including administration and enforcement of licensing and rabies vaccination of dogs and cats by the Health Department, control and collection of strays and response to bite reports by the Health Department and Village appointed Animal Control Officer, provision of pet friendly facilities and educational activities by Parks & Recreation and additional education and resources provided by the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee and others. Consequently the Companion Animal Management Pledge, essentially following the template provided by Sustainable Jersey, was unanimously adopted by the Village Council on April 12 2017. A copy of the pledge resolution is provided in the supporting documentation A copy of the memo notifying Planning and Zoning Board members, the Health Department, the Parks & Recreation Department, the Animal Control Officer, and the Environmental Commission (REAC) of the Companion Animal Management Pledge and Plan is provided in the documentation for this action.

    Companion Animal Management Plan

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Ridgewood has for many years pursued practices which are encouraged in the subject Action description including administration and enforcement of licensing and rabies vaccination of dogs and cats by the Health Department, control and collection of strays and response to bite reports by the Health Department and Village appointed Animal Control Officer, provision of pet friendly facilities and educational activities by Parks & Recreation and additional education and resources provided by the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee and others. Consequently the Companion Animal Management Pledge was unanimously adopted by the Village Council on April 12 2017. A copy of the Pledge is attached. The Pledge will soon be widely distributed via formal memo from Ridgewood's Deputy Mayor. As described above the required components of a Companion Animal Management Plan have been in place in Ridgewood for some time. Therefore the Companion Management Team reviewed and documented these ongoing activities into the Companion Animal Management Plan (copy attached) over the signature of the Team Leader (Health Supervisor) on 5/25/2017. Other stakeholder members of the Team include Animal Control Officer, Deputy Mayor, Police Department representative, Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee representative, Parks & Recreation Department representative, animal hospital representative, local hospital representative and Green Team members. Considerable outreach to the community has been conducted by way of encouraging and educating about licensing, vaccination and spay/neutering, providing rabies and microchipping clinics, other educational programs, distribution of literature and newspaper features. Specific outreach to gain community input into the newly formalized plan has been completed via the Village of Ridgewood's official Facebook page (this post was then shared on the GreenRidgewood Facebook page and various community pages maintained by local residents). The Health Department continues to solicit input on the Village's action plan at this time. A copy of the post has been provided in the documentation for this action.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points
    Bronze Required Silver Required

    Program Summary: The Ridgewood Green Team was established as a permanent advisory committee to the Village Council via Ordinance No. 3423 in July 2014. The explicit purpose of the Green Team is to manage the Village's Sustainable Jersey application and achieve certification. The nine member committee functions as a subcommittee of the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC), which has been in existence for more than two decades and initiated many of the actions now being formally documented. To ensure continuity and adequate knowledge transfer, one third of the Green Team members are also REAC members. Resolution 15-67, passed in February 2015, established the initial membership and terms for the Green Team volunteers. Note that many terms defined in Resolution 15-67 have since been extended. Since that time there have been monthly meetings as well as numerous one-on-one engagements as needed to facilitate the Sustainable Jersey application process. Ridgewood continues to support its Green Team in a variety of ways, including inviting the Green Team to participate in various municipal fairs and festivals, approving grant application and projects, supporting new initiatives, and appointing Deputy Mayor Michael Sedon as the Council member on the Green Team. He recently wrote a letter of support for the Green Team (documentation provided) and will read this proclamation at the Village Council meeting held Wednesday, September 13th, 2017.

    Community Education and Outreach

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood and its partner organizations and committees offer several ongoing programs to increase sustainability literacy throughout the community. The Parks and Recreation Department provides a host of learning opportunities for children in the Village. The Ridgewood Wildscape Association provides nature education services for all Village residents. Ridgewood's Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) coordinates and hosts regular educational seminars open to the public. All programs explicitly focus on community education and engagement. The mission statement of the Ridgewood Department of Parks and Recreation is to preserve open space and provide facilities and year round recreational activities that meet the needs of all residents. For children in the 2016/2017 season there were two environmentally-focused course offerings. Green Kids is a youth program for those who want to explore and discover nature, science, gardening, art, birding, weather, recycling, environment, and senses. Garden Art for Kids is a magical mixture of nature and eco-art where children will love exploring and learning about nature while having fun and getting creative with natural materials, gardening, and eco-art projects. The Ridgewood Wildscape Association (RWA) was founded in 1976 to promote the preservation and maintenance of underdeveloped village-owned land, provide education services, and act as a guardian of the “wild” areas in town for birding, picnics, and walks. Each fall and spring RWA hosts a cleanup day where residents of the town gather to remove littler from a local stream or brook. The most recent cleanup event was held on April 30th, 2017 at King's Pond in Ridgewood. Based on community feedback regarding topics of interest, REAC hosted a series of six courses/seminars in 2016 called "Back to Basics: A Healthy Lifestyle Series" in conjunction with the Green Team and Parks and Recreation. Topics included lead poisoning, beekeeping, reforestation, backyard composting, organic gardening, and recycling. The series was enormously popular and will be repeated again at a later date. As an additional community education and outreach mechanism, the Ridgewood Green Team developed and actively maintains a public Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GreenRidgewood/). The page shares links to Village information and events and helps the Green Team publicize new events, certification status, and other initiatives. In addition to publicizing the all of the programs described above, the Facebook page has been used to promote Ridgewood's Green Business Recognition Program. Through the Facebook page and the associated email address, the Green Team can receive direct and immediate feedback from the public on how to better serve the Village. For more information about RWA, please visit: http://www.ridgewoodwildscape.org/ For more information about Parks & Recreation programs, please visit: http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-government/departments/recreation

    Hold a Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Continuing Ridgewood's more than ten-year tradition of hosting an Earth Day Celebration, the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) chose April 23rd as the day to showcase the effort in Van Neste park in Ridgewood's Central Business District. The theme of this year’s program was “Ridgewood Water’s Journey from Rain to Drain” which enlarged the participation in the event of our water supplier, Ridgewood water. This utility company, owned by the village, supplies water to the Village and 4 other surrounding municipalities. Current questions surrounding NJ’s water supply, it’s safety, availability, regulation, and control made it the most important environmental question of 2017 for our residents and their other customers. This event gave the utility opportunity to meet face to face with customers in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Over the last three years, “Earth Day has been planned and presented jointly along with the “Daffodil Festival” of the Ridgewood Conservancy for Public Lands. This alliance has allowed steady growth of the event as we are now appealing to a more complex “fan” base. The event has grown over early efforts by REAC from 6 exhibitors displaying in the Village Hall courtyard to over 40 exhibitors/vendors in our most prominent park. A list of our exhibitors is attached. Among the exhibitors are 6 village departments and committees which take advantage of the day to spread the word on their efforts and services. Traditional participants are the Water Department, Recycling, Parks and Recreation, Engineering (water conservation), Health, The Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC), The Tree Commission, and the Green Team. This year the Ridgewood Arts council join in with a proactive app driven hunt for classic art distributed throughout the area which could only be viewed through a hand-held device. The three-hour event was filled with “Educational Displays, Water Conservation conversations, a Petting Zoo, Crafts, a Daffy Dog Parade, and live music. Environmentally safe water bottles for use at “filling stations”, shower timers, and lead testing kits were distributed throughout the day. All this was free to attendees. Aided by extraordinarily good weather, estimates for attendance at the 2017 event exceeded 1000 people.

  • Diversity & Equity

    Lead Education and Outreach Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary: During several 2016 public forums, Ridgewood community members made a specific request for a program related to lead risks in the home environment. Given children six and under are the most likely to suffer adverse effects from lead poisoning, Ridgewood's Green Team Advisory Committee partnered with the Ridgewood MOMS Club (www.ridgewoodmomsclub.com) to host an open invitation educational seminar titled "Preschoolers and Lead: What You Need to Know" on March 30th, 2017. Dawn Cetrulo, Supervisor of Ridgewood's Health Department, presented on the most common sources of lead in the home environment as well as mitigation strategies to avoid exposure. Kathryn Ordway, Clinical Dietitian at the Valley Hospital, presented on the utilization of proper nutrition to help lower the risk of lead absorption. The formal presentations were followed by a detailed question and answer session that lasted more than 30 minutes. All local preschools received formal invitations and the event was advertised on numerous social media sites and town venues. Given the positive response from those who attended the seminar, the Green Team anticipates repeating this program in the future.

  • Energy

    Municipal On-Site Solar System

    30 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood has recognized the benefits of renewable solar generated power and has taken great strides toward implementing and expanding the addition of its photovoltaic solar system since it began producing power for the Village in February 2013. Currently there are four functioning locations on Village owned property and buildings producing a total of 208,820 kilowatt hours of power annually. The main fire house at 201 E. Glen Ave. has 324 roof mounted modules at 240 W producing 77,780 KwH annually. The municipal building, Village Hall at 131 N. Maple Ave. has 294 roof mounted modules at 240 W producing 70,560 KwH annually. There is also a monitor in the lobby of the building that continuously displays power producing statics clearly visible to all residents and visitors to Village Hall on a daily basis. The Water Pollution Control Facility at 561 Prospect St. Glen Rock, NJ has 210 ground mounted modules that produce 50,400 KwH for the Village annually. And the Ridgewood Emergency Medical Services building at 33 Douglas Pl. has 42 roof top mounted modules producing 10,080 KwH annually. Collectively the system produces between 40 and 60 percent of the electricity needed to operate these facilities, not only reducing the Village's carbon footprint significantly, but it also saves the taxpayers money from rising energy costs.

  • Food

    Community Gardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In 1982, a former farm of 13 acres was acquired by the Village of Ridgewood, with Green Acres funding, as a site for a renovated barn, previously situated on the property, to be used as the headquarters for our Parks and Recreation Department. The very next year, in 1983, the new directors decided to parcel off thirty-one 10x12 feet lots located along Meadowbrook Avenue as community farming plots. The location is ideal for gardening: great sun, easy access for residents, and excellent soil with drainage. The Ridgewood Water company supplied a system for watering the entire area. Compost is provided free from the Ridgewood Lakeview Ave. compost facility; and wood chips from the same facility are used for the walkways that surround the gardens. Current season compost piles were erected nearby for residents. The cost of a plot is $50 per resident and the season runs from mid-May to mid-November each year. As of this September 2017 submission there is a waitlist for a garden plot, as the program exhausted the list from the beginning of the program in May. All of the 31 plots at Maple Park East and at Habernickel Park are all registered to Ridgewood taxpayers. With Ridgewood's new public/private partnership with HealthBarnUSA, the Village continue to educate its community regarding the healthy and nutritional benefits of eating vegetables, herbs, etc. In 2017 there are three outside groups registered with the Village in the community garden program. The Partial Care Consumers from West Bergen Mental Healthcare use this opportunity for horticultural therapy. The students from both Ridgewood High School and Ben Franklin Middle School clubs entitled RAEK (Ridgewood Agricultural Educational Klub) under the direction of Mr. Wu have registered two plots where they are learning about gardening and growing produce and herbs for those that visit the Food Bank at Ridgewood Social Service Association at the Railroad Station Plaza. The third group, is Bear Cub Pack 12 from Travell School, Joel Torielli is the Scoutmaster. Several new programs are being offered to all gardeners. Horticulturist Chris Raimondi, presented an "Introduction to Gardening" program in mid May explaining the details of soil prep, proper way to plant, companion planting, insects, mulches, harvesting. In addition there are various joint programs offered at the Community Garden. The nutrition education and gardening experience is being offered through our sponsorship with HealthBarn. The Women Gardeners of Ridgewood also co-sponsor the "Green Kids" programs offered to our resident youth in grades 2-6 each spring and fall.

    Farmers Markets

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Ridgewood’s Farmers’ Market is managed by the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce. The Village of Ridgewood supported the creation of the Farmers’ Market in 2001 by working with the Chamber of Commerce to develop the market, advertising the market on the Village Calendar, listing the market dates on the Village website, approving ordinances allowing its operation, and providing the municipal lot at the train station as a location. The Village of Ridgewood also provides traffic control, restrooms, electric power and garbage control. The Ridgewood Farmers’ Market is in its 17th year of operation. This year it will open June 25 and run every Sunday through November 19, 2017. The hours are 9:00am to 3:00pm. There are six vendors including two NJ Farms, a pickle vendor, a baker, a maker of fresh mozzarella, and a jelly/jam vendor. The Village of Ridgewood charges vendors a yearly $50 licensing fee. The Chamber of Commerce charges vendors $45 per week for their spots and does advertising for the market in area papers and other digital and print publications.

    Making Farmers Markets Accessible

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Ridgewood Farmers’ Market strives to be accessible to all. It is located at the Ridgewood Train Station which was recently updated to allow ease of access for those with mobility challenges. The station is located in the middle of town with a large parking lot for shoppers. The train station is located 2 blocks from the Ridgewood bus station on the west side of Van Neste Square. There are also several bus stops in the Village, including one located on Wilsey Square directly across the street from the train station. The Village of Ridgewood provides traffic control, restrooms, electric power, and garbage control for the Farmers' Market. WIC and Senior FMNP vouchers are accepted by some farmers. Furthermore, the Ridgewood Farmers' Market has participated in the NJ wireless EBT pilot program.

  • Health & Wellness

    Anti-Idling Education & Enforcement Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The State of NJ passed anti-idling legislation in 2007, regulating both diesel and gasoline vehicles. The Department of Environmental Protection provided a website, and a Stop The Soot campaign and literature for each community to use. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey Natural Resources Committee reached out to local members to promote local ordinances. The NJ Dept of Transportation had already issued requirements. The LWV made power point presentations to the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee, whose members included both a representative from the town council as well as school board, as well as handouts (attached). After an 18 month campaign, both the Village Council and School Boards passed resolutions (attached). A “No Idling Pledge for School Districts” was distributed to each of the five elementary, two middle schools and one high school. Signs were ordered for each school and the NJDEP posted signs at each public bus stop in the Village. Fifteen hundred anti-idling bookmarks, provided by the LWV, were distributed to schools, libraries, Village Hall offices. In addition, the recycling center was advised that any truck used to compact newspaper, cardboard or other papers must obey the law. Bookmarks were handed out to residents who idled car engines while they spent time dropping off papers, cans and bottles, etc. The NJDEP provided “reminders” in the form of a ticket that could be handed out to residents. In the first year of the campaign and resolutions, there were many times that residents indicated they would not comply. It took at least one year before parents would shut off their engines while waiting to pick up the children; and in some cases of private nursery schools, education continues. Volunteers had problems explaining that cellphones could be charged without the engine idling, but most residents have finally successfully received this message. We found it is important to emphasize to residents that in extreme heat or cold weather, these anti-idling restrictions do not apply. Within the past 18 months, the following actions have taken place with respect the anti-idling education, enforcement, and continued program evolution: (1) Distribution of nearly 5000 anti-idling bookmarks to all HSA presidents along with an educational memo. The HSA presidents made the bookmarks available to all public school families. Numerous preschools also received bookmarks and distributed them at orientation this fall. The bookmarks were designed and provided by LWV of Ridgewood and the Village's environmental organizations to all HSA presidents for distribution to the local public schools. (2) Distribution of anti-idling bookmarks at Ridgewood's recycling center by members of Ridgewood's Green Team (pictured). Cars leave their motors on while walking back and forth to individual recycling containers (cardboard, cans/bottles, newspaper and mixed paper) -- the Recycling Center has been a major focus of anti-idling education. (3) Deputy Mayor Michael Sedon, Village Council liaison to the Green Team, read the attached proclamation at the public meeting on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 to reemphasize the Village's commitment to anti-idling education.

    Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Public Places

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood first established smoke-free zones via Ordinance No. 3133 in 2008. The scope of the areas covered by the smoking ban have expanded twice since that time and now include all Board of Education facilities, municipal facilities, and all parks & recreational facilities. Ordinance No. 3382 superseded Ordinance No. 3133 in 2013 and nine months later Ordinance No. 3403 amended the smoke-free boundary to include sidewalks adjacent to all Board of Education facilities. Numerous news articles, prominent signage, and website verbiage educates the community and as well as any visitors. Individuals who violate the smoke-free bans are subject to fines issues by the Ridgewood Police.

  • Innovation Projects

    Raingardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood purchased a 10 acre horse farm in 2004. After years of planning they developed Habernickel Family Park into a new recreation space for the town. The park opened in October 2012. Along with sports fields, playgrounds and hiking trails, there had to be a reasonable number of parking spaces for patrons. This parking lot is located in an area that would drain into the Hohokus Brook. The Village of Ridgewood engineering department designed the parking lot to slope into a rain garden. Runoff from the lot enters the rain garden and is filtered of pollutants by the vegetation before it flows into the brook. The Village planted the rain garden with 16 different species and a total of 144 native perennial plants. A group of Ridgewood Master Gardeners and members of the Bergen Passaic Native Plant Society have agreed to help maintain the rain garden at Habernickel Family Park. Informational signage that describes the rain garden has been produced by the Village Signal Department. The sign also explains the benefits of rain gardens. Village officials have also expressed the desire to use the park for outdoor science classes in the future.

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood's Water Pollution Control Facility is a sewage treatment plant that is 100 percent run on renewable energy produced at the plant through its treatment process. In December of 2011, the Village of Ridgewood partnered with Ridgewood Green RME LLC, Natural Systems, the Middlesex Water Company and American Refining and Biochemical and by April of 2014 the project was awarded the "Biogas Project of the Year Award," from the American Biogas Council. Through a public/private partnership the Village and its partners retrofitted the existing anaerobic digesters at the plant to capture methane gas, which previously was wasted by burning and releasing it into the atmosphere. The methane is used to produce about 240KW of electricity in generators and uses heat from the generators to produce 1.5 MMBtu/hr in thermal energy. This energy powers 100 percent of the plant's electrical needs, turning what was the most expensive electric bill in the Village-- upwards of $200,000 annually-- into a self sustaining operation. The capital cost of the project was borne by Ridgewood Green RME, LLC, and it makes its investment back through a 20-year agreement to sell energy back to the Village. This 100 percent sustainable operation came with zero cost to the Village taxpayers. The overall goal was to improve affordability, resiliency and sustainability, which the project has more than exceeded. Also, a Bio Organic Catalyst enzyme is used to increase methane production. The facility accepts grey water from septic tanks and fats, oils and greases through its liquid waste acceptance program. The Village charges companies to dispose of the waste at the plant because of additional capacity, but especially the fats, oils and greases super charge the Bio Organic Catalyst enzyme and allows the Village to create electricity above and beyond what the plant uses. This additional electricity is sold as renewable energy certificates to 3Degrees, a leader in the renewable energy marketplace. Numerous published articles has educated the community at large and tours are offered by the Village Engineer upon request.

    Innovative Community Project 2

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The reestablishment of Ridgewood's Shade Tree Commission (STC) in 2014 infused energy and excitement into many tree-focused programs throughout the Village, including the often discussed and now fully realized plan to establish a Village-owned and operated nursery. Both the STC and Ridgewood's Department of Parks and Recreation have championed the notion of a nursery where the bare root saplings purchased with village funds and/or acquired free of charge from the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation could grow for several years prior to being planted on Village property throughout Ridgewood. This time in a nursery environment under the watchful eye of Parks and Recreation employees and the Village Arborist will maximize the potential of the saplings to thrive and benefit the entire community by allowing larger, healthier trees to be planted in Ridgewood. In February 2017 a major obstacle was overcome when the Village Engineer received approval from NJDEP to place the nursery at the chosen site, an area of land behind Ridgewood's Recycling Center and Fire Department Headquarters, under a "permit by rule" exception as the location lies in a flood plain. Following this ruling the focus shifted to site clean-up and the installation of fences to secure the perimeter. Previously received grant funding was used to purchase large, sturdy pots to house the saplings during the several years they will reside in the nursery. Volunteers planted the initial batch of saplings into these pots in May 2017. By the summer of 2017 the more than 100 saplings were planted and are now protected from deer and under constant supervision/care. The nursery project has been promoted on the GreenRidgewood Facebook page and other relevant social media sites.

    Innovative Community Project 3

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In an effort to raise awareness, help the pollinators, and celebrate its achievements, Ridgewood has been designated as a “Bee City USA.” This is a relatively new organization that is similar to the “Tree City” program; only it focuses on pollinators instead of trees. The link to Bee City USA is as follows: http://www.beecityusa.org/ On June 27, 2017, the Parks, Recreation, & Conservation Board unanimously approved a proposal for Ridgewood to become a “Bee City USA.” The application and approved resolution are provided as documentation for this action. Ridgewood's Green Team and our sustainability groups have actively supported those seeking the Bee City designation. Ridgewood is the first municipality in New Jersey to earn this designation. The President of the Northeast New Jersey Beekeepers resides in Ridgewood and spearheaded the Bee City USA effort. He leads a club of hobbyist beekeepers throughout the Bergen County area. Currently there are over one dozen Ridgewood backyard beekeepers that are members of this club. One of the main tenets of the Northeast New Jersey Beekeepers is educating the general public on the importance of bees in the environment and food supply. The Bee City USA resolution benefits the Women Gardeners of Ridgewood, the Ridgewood Wildscape Association, the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee, the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Shade Tree Commission, the Green Team, and clubs of elementary school student committed to establishing and maintaining healthy pollinator habitat within the village. Currently, there are 49 cities in the US that are designated "Bee Cites," and Ridgewood became first Bee City in New Jersey! Please note that this program does indeed serve all pollinators, and not specifically or exclusively honeybees and beekeepers. Ridgewood has been doing what is required to be designated a Bee City for many years, and this program will only help to formalize the fact that Ridgewood is a town that is passionate about protecting its parks, wildscapes, and natural habitats. Through the Bee City program, Ridgewood will be able to publicly celebrate the fact that Ridgewood protects all of its pollinators and remains committed to providing them with healthy habitats. In addition, it will afford the village the opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate the work of Ridgewood’s many groups whose work benefits pollinators and helps to create a healthy environment for all of us. It is also a great way to educate the public on the importance of pollinators and what can be done to help them thrive. Here is a sample of the ongoing pollinator-focused programs. In 2017, The Parks and Recreation department and The Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands developed and began work on a sensory pollinator garden that will allow people to utilize all of their senses via plants, and will include native plants that will provide nectar and pollen for pollinators. The garden is set to fully open in March 2018. In 2016 & 2017, The Parks and Recreation department provided natural habitat for pollinators and educating residents on the importance of maintaining a green-minded environment. For the past 32 years, the Parks and Recreation department has overseen the Village Community Organic Garden, which promotes natural, organic gardening to residents. In 2016 & 2017, part of the third grade curriculum was the importance of pollinators. The program was aimed at teaching children the importance pollinators play in our environment. The program is capped off with a presentation by a local beekeeper who brings in an observation hive and various bee-related equipment.

  • Local Economies

    Green Business Recognition Program

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood’s Green Team Advisory Committee created a voluntary Green Business Recognition Program in 2015 to promote green practices and increase the visibility of those entities that have successfully demonstrated a commitment to sustainability. All privately owned businesses with a physical location within the bounds of the Village of Ridgewood may participate in the Green Business Recognition Program. Participation in the program is free and entirely voluntary. Interested parties may download and complete Ridgewood’s Green Business Application and checklist from the Green Team page on the Village website. The completed checklist and any supplemental application materials should be submitted to the attention of the Green Team electronically (ridgewoodgreenteam@gmail.com). Businesses are encouraged to contact the Green Team for assistance—a team member will be dispatched for an in-person meeting to facilitate the application process. Businesses that satisfy the requirements for recognition are designated a Green Business by Ridgewood’s Green Team. Representatives from the Green Team present each recognized business with a certificate suitable for public display. The name of each recognized business is posted on social media outlets administered by the Green Team as well as other websites as appropriate. All recognized businesses will be celebrated at the annual Earth Day fair in the Village. A large poster used for this purpose during the 2017 Earth Day event is now on display in the main lobby of Village Hall. Ridgewood's Green Business Recognition Program has received broad support from the business community, the Chamber of Commerce, the Guild, the Village Council, and residents. Within a month of the program's launch there were several newspaper articles on the subject and many businesses expressing interest in participation. At the present time there are six recognized businesses: Karma Organic Spa, Healthy Choice Organic Mattress, American Bulldog Coffee Roasters, Backyard Living, Ridgewood Cycle Shop, and Jekyll & Hide. The Green Team's subcommittee focused on this certification program is in active communication with at least a dozen other businesses and expects applications throughout the remainder of 2017 and beyond.

  • Natural Resources

    Water Conservation Ordinance

    20 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Ridgewood Water is a municipally owned system, serving a population of approximately 60,000 residents in four towns (Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Midland Park, and Wyckoff). Ridgewood Water is a sole-source aquifer with 12 storage facilities and nearly 20,00 connections. There are 30 full-time employees, seven who work in the municipal office and 23 who work in the treatment and distribution divisions. Each employee in the municipal office, in addition to clerical and administrative duties, answers inquiries from residents about current water restrictions and is well versed in every facet of the water conservation program. Conservation is of critical importance to the system, as sufficient water pressure, especially in the summer months, is necessary for fire safety. Landscape irrigation is by far the biggest user of water during the spring and summer months, and therefore the primary target of conservation programs and restrictions. Ridgewood operated for many years on a multi stage emergency regulation basis, established by Ordinance 269-48. The stages were outlined as follows: Stage 1 required alternate day lawn watering; Stage 2, more severe restrictions and twice weekly watering; Stage 3, pending critical, only hand held watering on specific days; and Stage 4, critical, no irrigation at all. In 2015, however, Ridgewood's Green Team, Village Council members, and representatives from Ridgewood Water embarked on a two-year effort in partnership with the other towns in the Ridgewood Water service area to modify the existing ordinance and strengthen the conservation program. In April 2017 Ridgewood's Village Council unanimously passed Ordinance 3588, amending Ordinance 269-48 and instituting permanent Stage 2 restrictions. Irrigation is limited to two days a week and acceptable watering hours are restricted to minimize loss through evaporation. Automatic rain sensors are required, and exemptions are granted for the use of SMART controllers. The town has been extremely diligent in notifying residents of the new restrictions via e-Notices, Facebook posts, the village website, the Ridgewood Water website, constant reminders in the newspapers and at public meetings, and mailed brochures. Reverse 911 calls are also employed when the drought status changes. Employees of the Ridgewood Water travel throughout the service area within Ridgewood and issue summonses/tickets to those who are found watering outside the bounds of the current restrictions.

    Environmental Commission

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) was established by ordinance No. 2441 on 1/11/1994. REAC assists the Village Council in long-range planning with respect to environmental concerns. REAC works to anticipate environmental problems, studying each particular problem, researching applicable technology and sources of funding and recommend solutions to the Village Council. REAC has the ongoing responsibility to study and recommend to the Council solutions to problems concerning solid waste management, open space preservation, flood plain development, stream channelization and rehabilitation, air pollution control, noise control, soil and landscape protection and the protection of flora and fauna. REAC meets on the second Tuesday of every month in Village Hall. REAC consists of 10 regular members and two alternate members, 10 of whom shall be persons with environmental training and/or experience and who, with the exception of the staff member, shall be appointed by the Village Council. The committee consists of one Village Council member, one Board of Education member, one Parks and Recreation member, and six citizen members. The Green Team and The Shade Tree Commission are also represented in REAC membership. REAC is a member of ANJEC. Currently REAC has several projects that are either ongoing, initiating or running with other committees. Some of the ongoing and annual projects include: Earth Day Celebration (annual event since 1994), continued support of the newly reestablished Shade Tree Commission, collaboration with the recycling department to increase waste diversion and related education, bike rack purchases and placement in downtown, and annual film screenings.

    Water Conservation Education Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The village of Ridgewood has a history and of water conservation education as a public water supply utility serving four municipalities in Bergen County. The Manager of Ridgewood Water, David Scheibner, attends community meetings, speaks to local groups, and often serves as the featured speaker during educational events and programs. Water conservation educational information and programs are provided by the Ridgewood Water Municipal Utility aimed at its customers and the general public about the need for and benefits of conserving water. Educational information is made available to residents and businesses at the municipal building, on the Village’s website and on each water bill. Two educational programs offered within the past year are provided below as examples of how Ridgewood Water educates the broader community. In April 2015 the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee and the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood presented the independent film Blue Gold: World Water Wars at the Ridgewood Library. It was advertised widely, and approximately 80 people attended. Mr. Scheibner spoke at the end of the film and answered residents’ questions about water conservation, etc. In March 2014 the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood presented a program “Its All About the Water”. The program was open to all customers of the Ridgewood Water system. Mr. David Scheibner, Manager of Ridgewood Water, spoke about the aquifer system in general, conservation in particular. Approximately 50 people attended. The New Jersey Department of Environment Protection (NJDP) restricts the amount of water that public utilities can divert for the use of their customers. NJDEP also requires all public water utilities to have a water conservation program. Residents in our area are in the forefront of implementing water saving fixtures and appliances such as low flow toilets, water saving front-loading washers and dishwashers. The biggest driver of increasing demand in our area is lawn and landscape irrigation. This is very sensitive to weather conditions. Heat and drought can drive demand to be as much as 4 times the demand in winter, sometimes exceeding the capacity of the system wells. The excess demand is supplied from storage tanks. Depletion of reserves can compromise the ability to fight fires. The greatest opportunity for conservation therefore is restrictions on irrigation. Automatic Stage I restrictions provide enough irrigation for every landscape to be properly hydrated while structuring demand in a way that can be better managed by the water distribution system. General Statistics: Well capacity 13 million gallons per day Storage tanks 14 million gallons per day Average demand 7 million gallons per day Average winter demand 5.5 million gallons per day Peak summer demand 20 million gallons per day

    Community Forestry Management Plan and NJUCF Accreditation

    20 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood Community Forestry Plan included in the attached documents is the first one developed by the Village of Ridgewood and the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission (STC). The Village of Ridgewood applied for and received a Green Communities Grant to finance the development of this five-year plan. The Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission’s purpose is to protect, preserve and enhance the shade trees in the village. Shade Trees are defined as Trees planted next to streets on the Village’s property. The STC’s goals are to foster public-private partnerships to 1) educate the community about the contribution shade trees make to the Village environment and, 2) increase the number of shade trees in the village by actively promoting community tree planting programs. After several decades of where shade trees were a low priority for the Village, a group of community members worked to increase awareness of the decline in the health and number of shade trees in the Village. Their efforts eventually resulted in the Village Council appointing a Shade Tree Commission in 2014. In fact, this was a reestablishment of a Shade Tree Commission which had prospered is the 30’s-50’s and was responsible for planting most of the trees now enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission has been officially recognized by the state. The Community Forestry 5 Year Plan, several years in the making, was approved January 2017. This approved status allows the STC to apply for grants to maintain and plant shade trees. Currently plans are to survey all Village street trees. It is estimated that there might be more than 10,000. This survey will indicate species, size, age, condition, exact location and also inform us about empty spaces in need of planting.

    Tree Planting Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Since the reestablishment of Ridgewood's Shade Tree Commission in 2014, a greater emphasis has been placed on allocating budgeted funds for the purchase of trees than at any other time in recent Village history. The financial crisis of the early 2000’s created a moratorium on new plantings and the Shade Tree Department found it funds and staff reduced. Safety maintenance continued but new plantings were few and far between. Starting with the 2015 version, tree planting was returned to the budget. In addition, an Adopt-A- Tree program was developed and launched. It allows a resident to purchase a tree through the Shade Tree Department which is then planted on Village property, usually within the grass median in front of the resident’s property. Enrollment in the program has been slow, 10 -12 resident properties per year, but the effort last year was bolstered by the Board of Education which planted 30 new trees on school property through the program. This year’s effort, which concludes on June 30th, 2017 is showing signs of increased uptake. The exact number of participants will be available in July 2017. The recently approved and now current municipal budget contains some increased allocations for tree-related issued. First, the new budget contains $55,000 to make up for prior spending deficits. These funds are specifically marked for such things as tree plantings, a tree inventory, and the start-up of a Village tree nursery. Second, all street paving contracts will now include a “Tree Scape” component which will require all those who bid on the contract to include the replacement of any tree along the route noted by the Village Arborist as requiring removal. In 2015 and 2016 the Village planted about 35 trees each year (25 as a regular line item in the Parks Department budget and 10 from the Adopt-A-Tree program.) The 25 regular trees have been planted in one zone each year according to the attached "leaf area map" as it helps sequence deployment through the Village (2015 = Area A and 2016 = Area B). For 2017 Ridgewood will be planting at least 25 through the Parks Department budget again in the next area (Area C). The newly allocated $55,000 in the Capital Budget for a tree replacement program represents an additional 160 trees or more for Ridgewood. The Shade Tree Department handles all maintenance of Village-owned trees, including all new plantings through these various tree planting programs.

  • Public Information & Engagement

    Municipal Communications Strategy

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood launched its completely new municipal website replacing a previous version that was not particularly user-friendly or intuitive. The development of the site design included a review of all methods of communication and how they would interact with the web site and each other. The process is described in detail in the submission checklist. Since the municipal website is a central focus for Village communications providing information, contacts, sign-up opportunities, and links, the enhanced web site has facilitated improved communications with municipal government and throughout the Ridgewood community.

    Improve Public Engagement in Planning and Zoning

    10 Points

    Program Summary: During the last year the Village of Ridgewood launched its completely new municipal web site replacing a previous, less user-friendly version. The web site makes available advance information about meetings of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment (schedule of meetings with dates, times and locations) and agendas as well as minutes and videos available after the meeting has taken place. Meetings are also shown on public access TV and sometimes through simultaneous webcast. In addition, traditional communication methods such as the annual calendar and notice boards continue to be supported. The process of more fully integrating the public into the Planning and Zoning process remains ongoing as there are opportunities for continued improvement, as detailed in the action notes. The new municipal site remains under constant review. Based on feedback from the community the website will be enhanced and expanded, resulting in improved communication between our residents and the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment.

    Improve Public Engagement in Municipal Government

    15 Points

    Program Summary: During the last year the Village of Ridgewood launched a completely new municipal web site replacing a previous, less user-friendly version. The new site includes many of the features described in this action that facilitate residents’ ability to understand and participate in the government process. These features are detailed in the appropriate sections of the submission checklist. The Council members and Village employees have taken advantage of technology such as e-mail and social media to make themselves more personally accessible to residents. Public access TV and the Village's You-Tube channel have increased access to public meetings. Traditional communication methods such as the annual calendar and public notice boards continue to be supported and help ensure those residents without access to technology receive the same information. This process of increased public engagement remains ongoing because opportunities for improvement remain, as detailed in the action notes, and because, as with all web sites, the new municipal site is continuously being reviewed, enhanced, and expanded with the result of communication between our residents and municipal government.

    Online Municipal Public Service Systems

    15 Points

    Program Summary: When Ridgewood unveiled its new website in 2016 it also transitioned many of its municipal public service systems online. At this time residents can easily conduct routine business and interactions with the Village electronically, saving time and resources. In particular the Village has made good use of its E-Notice system, an opt-in program for emailed notifications pertaining to Village operations. The E-Notice system has been used throughout the past year to publicize and promote the newest online capabilities within the Village, including the SDL permit and inspection portal where residents can track the status of building permits online. The Community Pass system, whereby residents can register for various Parks & Recreation programs, has also been a very popular and successful online offering.

  • Waste Management

    Prescription Drug Safety and Disposal

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood Police Department has participated for many years in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day as scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The semiannual event is advertised on the Village Police Department website, in local newspapers, and via flyers available at Police Headquarters and other locations throughout the Village. In addition, the event is now promoted on social media forums for Ridgewood residents. Ridgewood provides its residents with educational information as disclosed by the DEA and available on the DEA website (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/). The collection event typically spans four hours (10AM - 2PM) and the drop-off location is the Police Department, located on the 2nd floor of Village Hall, 113 N. Maple Ave in Ridgewood, NJ. A police officer is present at all times during the drop-off period, and the collected drugs are then brought via police escort to the Bergen County consolidation points established by the DEA for proper disposal. In prior years weight tickets were provided to each municipality, but that is no longer the case. Each Ridgewood event collects three to six full garbage bags of prescriptions. The most recent two events were held on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 and Saturday, April 29th, 2017.

    Recycling and Waste Reduction Education and Compliance

    15 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood has a robust Recycling Division that provides residential curbside collection of many recyclable materials as well as operates a full-service recycling center. Education surrounding the benefits of waste reduction and of the operation of the Recycling Division is provided regularly to the Ridgewood community through a variety of channels. Ridgewood’s comprehensive recycling program asks residents to separate their recyclable materials into different streams and to use the beige recycling barrels that are provided to each household. Ridgewood sells its recycling products to processors and has traditionally collected enough fees from these sales to significantly help in offsetting the expense of running its recycling program. The primary source of information for all things related to Ridgewood’s recycling program is the following website: http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-government/departments/department-of-public-works-dpw/recycling. In August 2017 the Recycling Center launched its own Facebook page to provide an additional educational and notification channel to the Ridgewood community (https://www.facebook.com/Ridgewood-Recycling-222238288276858/). A screenshot of digital promotion/notification of the Village's recycling rules via that page has been provided in the documentation for this action. The newly published strategy document is also attached to this submission. Regarding the compliance inspections completed in 2016, Ridgewood's recycling coordinator Dan Kiely spoke with one of Ridgewood’s code enforcement officers who inspected 100% of residences in 2016 and issued 537 recycling violation tickets. Digital records / reports are not available at this time, unfortunately.

    Community Paper Shredding Day

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of Ridgewood has hosted a confidential shredding event for its residents since 2009, and each event has gained in popularity such that it is now a semiannual offering for the community. On September 24th, 2016 nearly 6 tons of materials were collected. On April 1st, 2017 the event received over 8.5 tons of material from about 40/50 cars per hour during the three and a half hour window. As a result of the increased popularity of the event, Ridgewood recently announced the fall mobile shredding day will be held at the much larger Graydon Pool parking lot on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017. The program is picked up by local papers but also publicized on the Village of Ridgewood website, in the Village of Ridgewood municipal calendar, and in the Village of Ridgewood Green Guide (the annual educational flyer for the Recycling Center). The latter two documents are mailed to every home. Shredding flyers are printed and distributed at the Recycling Center and at Ridgewood’s municipal building. Electronic versions of the flyer are shared on all relevant social media sites. The event is free to all Ridgewood residents and businesses only. The Village’s Recycling Coordinator organizes the event and has a recycling team to assist the transfer of papers from the cars to the shredding truck. Participants can watch their documents on camera as they are securely shredded by information destruction systems for recycling by Atlantic Coast Fibers. Items for shredding are placed in a paper bag or cardboard box only. Limit five (5) file size boxes per vehicle. Cancelled checks, computer printouts, copy paper (all colors), envelopes, letterhead, and stationery are just some of the types of documents shredded during the event. http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/recycling-news/720-2016-ridgewood-shred-days

    Household Hazardous Waste

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Recycling Division within the Village of Ridgewood has a robust program for disposal of household hazardous waste. Specifically, there are two accepted materials that meet the requirements of this action: batteries (automobile, rechargeable, and button cell only), and e-waste broadly speaking (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, monitors, computers, printers, desktop copy machines, hard drives, video game consoles, radios, stereos, cellular phones, electronic tablets, e-book readers, inkjet and laser printer cartridges). Batteries and e-waste, including printer cartridges, can be brought to the recycling center located at 205 E. Glen Avenue from 8am - 3pm Monday through Saturday. Button cell and rechargeable batteries must be placed in separate plastic baggies or have the terminal ends taped with non-conductive tape and handed to the attendant at the recycling center. Village residents are notified of the hazardous waste disposal options within Ridgewood through the Green Guide (recycling flyer) sent to each household and several sections of the Recycling Division's page on the Ridgewood website, including the very helpful and often referenced "how do I dispose of..." section. In CY2016 Ridgewood's Recycling Center reported 1.912 tons of lead acid batteries, 0.0645 tons of rechargeable batteries, and 78.4235 tons of e-waste. Lead acid batteries are trucked from Ridgewood's recycling center to Cinelli Iron & Metal for scrap metal recycling. Rechargeable batteries are shipped from Ridgewood Recycling to Call2Recycle for sorting and recycling. E-waste material is trucked from Ridgewood's recycling center to E-Revival for consumer electronics recycling. For more information, please visit the following websites: http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-government/departments/department-of-public-works-dpw/recycling http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/recycling-news/553-how-do-i-dispose-of

    Non-Mandated Materials Recycling

    15 Points

    Program Summary: The Recycling Division within the Village of Ridgewood has a robust program for non-mandated materials. Specifically, there are three collected materials that meet the requirements of this action: textiles, tires, and concrete. None of these items are mandated by Bergen County for residential recycling. Textiles can be brought to the recycling center located at 205 E. Glen Avenue from 8am - 3pm Monday through Saturday. Concrete, limited to one 32 gallon barrel (no contractors, no asphalt, no colored concrete, no red brick, no ceramics), can likewise be brought to the Village's recycling center. Tires can be placed curbside for "bulk refuse" pickup twice per month. The bulk refuse schedule alternates between the east side and west side of town and can be found online. Village residents are notified of the non-mandated materials they can recycle through the Green Guide (recycling flyer) sent to each household and several sections of the Recycling Division's page on the Ridgewood website, including the very helpful and often referenced "how do I dispose of..." section. The second page of the Village's annual recycling flyer mailed to each household (included below for reference) includes a quick "What do I do with....?" box that has addresses some non-mandated materials. In CY16 Ridgewood recycled 65.61 tons of concrete, 5.8 tons of tires, and 7.9545 tons of textiles. Concrete is trucked from Ridgewood's recycling center to Sterling Carting where it is sent to concrete crushing facilities for recycling. Tires are processed by Tire Management for use in the used tire and/or tire recycling industries. Textiles are received by TransAmericas Trading Company for use in the secondhand, used clothing, or vintage clothing markets and/or for fiber recycling. For more information, please visit the following websites: http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-government/departments/department-of-public-works-dpw/recycling http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/recycling-news/553-how-do-i-dispose-of

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In 1974 Ridgewood High School’s Students for Environmental Action and concerned parents approached Solid Waste officials to commence newspaper recycling. The town implemented curbside pickup of newspapers on the Wednesday bulk refuse curbside day. Residents had to bundle or bag newspapers and magazines for pickup. In response to interest from students and residents, glass and aluminum cans were added to the program. Containers were collected at the drop off site at 205 East Glen Avenue, the yard of the Parks Department and now the home of Ridgewood's recycling center. The recycling program remained voluntary until 1988. In that year New Jersey passed mandatory statewide recycling laws. On July 1, 1988 Ridgewood’s mandatory recycling ordinance went into effect, changing the voluntary drop off program to a mandatory one. The Village or Ridgewood operates a convenient recycling center located at 205 E. Glen Avenue (behind Ridgewood Fire Department Headquarters). The center is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, from 8.00am-3.00pm to encourage recycling and facilitate higher recycling rates. The Ridgewood recycling program continues to evolve each year with new additions based on available markets and industry best practices. The hours of operation are advertised on the Village of Ridgewood website, in the Village of Ridgewood municipal calendar, and in the Village of Ridgewood Green Guide (the annual recycling flyer), the latter two documents are mailed to every home. In the Green Guide, the recycling center is highlighted twice, both on the cover of the piece and then again on one of the last pages. Items accepted at the Recycling Center include: glass/plastic bottles and jars of all colors, aluminum and steel cans, newsprint, magazines, corrugated cardboard and paper bags, appliances and metals, tires, automobile batteries, clothing, printer cartridges, electronics, batteries and concrete. Local mulch and wood chips are available for municipal and residents use. In 2016, the Recycling Division collected (data forthcoming) tons of material, resulting in a (percentage forthcoming) reduction in solid waste, saved (total forthcoming) in landfill fees, received (total forthcoming) in recycling grant funds, and earned (total forthcoming) from the sale of recycled materials. For more information, please visit: http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-government/departments/department-of-public-works-dpw/recycling

    Backyard Composting Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC), the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Bergen County Utility Authority (BCUA), formally launched Ridgewood's Backyard Composting Program in 2016 with an educational seminar. Part of the "Back-to-Basics: Healthy Lifestyle" series, the backyard composting program featured a presentation by Angela Bonanno-Lynch, BCUA Solid Waste Educator and Technical Advisor. She shared the basic recipe for successful backyard composting, what to compost and why, the methods most commonly used, and the various benefits of composting. The use of an "Earth Machine" compost bin was explained in detail and the devices were made available for purchase at a reduced rate of $60 through Parks and Recreation following the presentation. Approximately a dozen families attend the kickoff presentations on April 30th, 2016 and since that time many others have reached out to event organizers to inquire about the purchase of an Earth Machine. Educational materials related to Backyard Composting remain publicly available on the Village of Ridgewood website, through Parks and Recreation, and from the Recycling Center.

    Reusable Bag Education Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Over the past several years there has been growing momentum to reduce the number of single use plastic bags within the Village of Ridgewood. Some existing business within the village, such as Whole Foods, already incentivize customers to bring their own bags via a small discount (10-cent per bag). The Green Team, in partnership with the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) and the Shade Tree Commission, sponsored a screening of the film "Bag It" on March 3rd, 2016. The film was shown at the Ridgewood Library Auditorium and the audience of two dozen community members engaged in a lively discussion following movie. Organizers attempted to gage the interest in a formal plastic bag ban or fee in town. This effort complimented the REAC presentations made in March 2016 to the Ridgewood Guild and the Chamber of Commerce where local businesses were provided with education regarding the benefits of reusable bags. Education continued in 2017 with social media posts (sample attached) and discussions at Ridgewood's Earth Day festival, where no single-use plastic bags were available. Implementing a resolution or ordinance that addresses reusable bags is a goal for 2018. Local scout troops as well as high school environmental clubs have grown passionate about the issue and would like to design reusable bags to be given out at the 2018 Earth Day Festival when community members sign a reusable bag pledge.