Sustainable Jersey Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Bloomfield Twp, a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Bloomfield Twp was certified on October 18, 2021 with 175 points. Listed below is information regarding Bloomfield Twp’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Bloomfield Twp is:

Name:Mollie Smith
Title/Position:Coordinator / Greener Bloomfield
Address:1 Municipal Plaza
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Bloomfield Twp was approved for in 2021 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • Brownfields

    Brownfields Inventory & Prioritization

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In late 2020, the Bloomfield Township Environmental Commission began researching potential brownfield sites for prioritization of future redevelopment. All "known contaminated sites" were mapped and queried in NJDEP's GeoWeb with the results then exported and initially validated by a desktop review of Google street images. Further property information was collected from township and county online mapping tools and potential sites were also compared to redevelopment plans presented in the township’s 2002 Master Plan as well as the updates/re-examination reports from 2008, 2014, and 2020. Additional databases consulted included EPA Superfund Sites, EPA UST Finder, NJDEP Electronic Reports, State of New Jersey Mapping tools and Community Right To Know website. Out of 80 known contaminated sites, nine were verified to be brownfields. Criteria for removing sites included: active redevelopment (i.e. structures in progress), active business (as determined by visual recon and general knowledge) and residential homes. Criteria for retaining sites in the inventory included construction vehicles are present but no active development is occurring, construction laydown areas, vacant lots, portions of the property are not utilized or there was a “for sale” sign at time of review. The Commission will update the Bloomfield Township Brownfield Inventory every two years using the process outlined above to track the status of current brownfields and identify new brownfields for recommendation of redevelopment and cleanup for the benefit of Bloomfield Township residents. The local inventory process was initiated by Cailyn Bruno, LSRP, and Nicholas Joanow, Township Councilman and Environmental Commission Liaison, with input from municipal departments including the Department of Public Works and the Township Administration.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points
    Bronze Required Silver Required

    Program Summary: Greener Bloomfield was founded as a volunteer organization in 2008 by a group of Bloomfield residents interested in researching and proposing solutions for green building and other sustainability measures and activities. In March of 2009, a Resolution was signed by Bloomfield’s Mayor and Township Council (see attached 2009 Resolution R9-7) supporting participation in the newly announced Sustainable Jersey Municipal Certification Program and designating Greener Bloomfield as the Township’s authorized agent for the Program's certification process. As a result of these two events, the Township of Bloomfield became one of the first 28 municipalities to be awarded Sustainable Jersey certification for its commitment to creating green and sustainable processes in their township operations. Since then, Greener Bloomfield has been at the forefront of advocacy, development and implementation of sustainability initiatives throughout Bloomfield with continued support from the Township (see attached 2021 Resolution R21-228). In the past year, Greener Bloomfield has adapted its activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shifting from in-person events to virtual meetings focused on documenting existing Township initiatives and activities that are applicable to Sustainable Jersey’s Municipal Certification Program. Additionally, the organization has invested considerable time in creating new partnerships and strengthening existing ones with municipal and community stakeholders including Township committees, commissions, school district representatives, nonprofit leaders, council members and the Mayor. These partnerships have proven to be beneficial to all parties with tangible results. Green Team members have increased the participation and impact of environmental initiatives led by other Township groups while Greener Bloomfield’s efforts, to catalogue actions for the Sustainable Jersey municipal recertification process, have been streamlined due to members having first-hand knowledge of sustainability-related actions as well as their stronger ties to community leaders and groups (see attached documentation of Recent Activities & Efforts, Members).

    Green Challenges

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In fall of 2020, The Bloomfield Green Challenge Pledge asked members of the community to make a change in their lives that would have a positive impact on the environment and to codify it by filling out an online pledge form. The initiative was presented through a partnership that included the Bloomfield Beautification Committee, Bloomfield Environmental Commission, Bloomfield Recycling Committee and Bloomfield Open Space Trust Fund Committee. The Challenge was introduced via the township’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and community group pages including Citizens of Bloomfield, Bloomfield Beautification, Bloomfield Pulse, People of Bloomfield, and Bloomfield Gardening & Leisure. Ongoing appeals and participation updates were routinely posted on social media and in five editions of the town’s monthly email newsletter, Bloomfield E-Buzz. Awareness was also raised through coverage by local media outlets, including TapInto Bloomfield, and the Bloomfield School District helped by distributing PDF flyers to all public school families through their digital backpack platform and posting print flyers in classrooms. When the Challenge concluded in June 2021, 601 pledges had been collected (approximately 3.1% of Bloomfield Township’s 19,583 households) from residents 18 years or older. Entries were recorded via a Google spreadsheet connected to the Challenge’s online pledge form. News about the Challenge’s success, community's participation level and information about Sustainable Jersey’s municipal certification program were published in the Bloomfield E-Buzz newsletter. While the Challenge is now closed, outreach continues as participants were given the opportunity to subscribe to the town’s E-Buzz email newsletter as well as a separate email list to learn specifically about upcoming projects related to sustainability in Bloomfield. Those that opted in received invitations to participate in the 2021 spring town-wide cleanup event and will be contacted again with details on how to take part in future cleanup events.

  • Food

    Community Gardens

    20 Points

    Program Summary: Bloomfield Township’s first community garden was established in 2015 at Pulaski Park and, in response to popular demand, a second community garden was established at Milbank Park in 2019. Both gardens are located on municipally controlled/maintained property and are administered by the Bloomfield Township Community Garden Committee (BCGC), whose mission is to prolong an invested interest in maintaining and enhancing Bloomfield’s community garden spaces, organizing and promoting various community garden activities and projects, and fostering a community garden spirit that celebrates recreational organic gardening. Garden locations provide gardeners 4’x8’ raised beds available for seasonal renting along with access to soil, composting bins, garden tools, and community garden google group forums. Garden members must sign the ‘Bloomfield Community Garden Agreement’ and comply with the established ‘Community Garden Rules & Regulations’ which include environmentally friendly protocols for organic and poison-free gardening. Non-organic fungicides, Herbicides or fertilizers along with illegal and invasive plants are not permitted. Members are assisted throughout the year and provided with educational gardening resources by BGC to ensure that the goals of the gardens are achieved. The Committee meets regularly and updates members through email newsletters with the goal of further developing community gardens in the township and growing its network of gardens and gardeners. In addition and throughout every growing season (May to October), Bloomfield Township Community Gardens provide donations of locally-grown, organic produce on a weekly basis to nearby food pantries including the Park United Methodist Church Food Pantry and the Montclair-based Human Needs Food Pantry which, through the Neighbor to Neighbor Network’s Food Assistance Program, delivers weekly groceries to over 500 residents of Bloomfield and Glen Ridge including seniors and disabled individuals. All garden members are encouraged to contribute their excess produce to bolster the weekly donations being delivered to the pantries.

  • Health & Wellness

    Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Public Places

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Township of Bloomfield recognizes that smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases in the state and the nation, that smoking constitutes a substantial health hazard to the nonsmoking majority of the public and that it is with the public interest to prohibit smoking in public buildings and on public property, such as public parks and recreational areas. Particularly concerning is the prevention of the youth of Bloomfield from being exposed and succumbing to the temptations of experimenting with tobacco and nicotine products. In addition, the Bloomfield Department of Health and Human Services recognizes tobacco use as a top health concern in the township and has included tobacco use prevention and reeducation in their current Community Health Improvement Plan. Consequently, the Township of Bloomfield adopted into code Chapter 478 which defines smoking as the burning of, inhaling from or exhaling the smoke or the possession of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, e-cigarette, hookah, electronic smoking device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter or substance that can be smoked. Chapter 478 prohibits smoking within all outdoor public parks and recreational facilities. Smoking is also prohibited throughout all municipal buildings, within 25 feet of outside entrances, exits or wheelchair ramps serving any entrance or exit, of all municipal buildings, in any vehicle registered to the Township. Plaques obtained through have been installed throughout Bloomfield in public outdoor parks and recreational facilities and on municipal buildings grounds. The Township’s Health Department has posted photos on social media along with education materials about the smoke free air act and negative effects of smoke and vaping products.

    Removing Lead in Drinking Water

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Township of Bloomfield takes a proactive and aggressive approach to both inform residents and address issues of lead in drinking water. Residents are kept informed through township meetings and public forums as well as multiple communication channels (i.e., the Township website that includes a dedicated Water Advisories & Info page, Township Facebook page, direct household mailings, local print and online news outlets). In November 2018, routine residential water testing revealed 16 out of 61 homes showed elevated levels of lead and exceeded the "action level". The Township began a public awareness campaign which included providing water test kits and Pur brand water filters (both pitchers and faucet mounted) to all Bloomfield residents at no cost. In July of 2019, the Township Council passed a widely-publicized bond ordinance (which remains current and in effect in 2021) for the replacement of lead service lines and, by October, significant steps had begun to remove and replace water lines containing lead throughout the town. Follow up sample testing shows continued decline in townwide lead exceedances and ongoing water line replacement and testing will continue through 2021.

  • Innovative Projects

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Locust Avenue Milkweed Project: A Multifaceted Resource Conservation, Community Engagement and Educational Project. In 2019, the Bloomfield Environmental Commission began a project intended to save a large stand of common milkweed from impending development and redistribute it to residents and community groups in order to promote an expanded pollinator pathway in the township. The project, which is ongoing, came to involve the landowner/developer, the Friends of Watsessing Park Conservancy, the Milbank Park Community Garden, the Collins House historic site and individual residents of Bloomfield and surrounding communities. Well over 100 common milkweed plants were transplanted, along with a similar number of swamp milkweed plants from the Watsessing Park Butterfly Garden. Educational materials were also developed and distributed as part of this resource conservation project. The impetus came from a former member of the Commission who contacted the Commission after observing a large stand of wild-growing common milkweed on the premises of an industrial site currently under redevelopment. The Commission contacted the property owner and arranged an educational meeting, after which he granted access to the property and permission to relocate the milkweed plants. Members of the Environmental Commission, Community Gardens Committee, a member of the Township Council and other interested individuals helped to remove and relocate the plants over multiple weekends in the spring and summer of 2020. Plants that were not immediately taken to new homes were "fostered" at the Friends of Watsessing Park Conservancy's butterfly garden pending adoption. Social media was used to promote the availability of plants, educational material was distributed with each set of plants and the Commission used GIS mapping to plot their new locations. The project is continuing this spring with additional education and more milkweed to be harvested. The ultimate goal is to expand the network of milkweed throughout the township and actively map it.

    Innovative Community Project 2

    10 Points

    Program Summary: For the 2020 Census, Bloomfield Township ran a comprehensive, multi-channel education and outreach effort that started in late 2017 with an Appointment Resolution that designated the Township Planning Director as the Census Coordinator. The township’s official Complete Count Committee (CCC) was created in January of 2020, and soon became part of the larger Montclair-Bloomfield CCC that included representatives from nearby schools, local government, libraries, local nonprofit organizations and others serving hard-to-count populations. Recruitment for census enumerators was held weekly on Wednesday afternoons in the early months of 2020 from a manned census kiosk located prominently at the Bloomfield Public Library. Extensive planning was done for many large-scale events to take place in spring but due to the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of them had to be reimagined as online and distanced initiatives. Ongoing outreach and communications efforts of the CCC were supported by a grant from the local Partners for Health Foundation which helped fund promotional materials and assisted with outreach. In March, printed census invitations began being mailed out to all township households. They were followed by up to four reminder postcards and, by August, trained enumerators began making in-person visits (in compliance with distancing protocols) to those households that had not yet responded. Despite the logistical challenges brought on by the pandemic, the CCC and its partners were able to grow the township's census response rate from 25.3% at the end of March to 72.5% in September. Digital communications and outreach played a large role in community engagement utilizing social media accounts of the township library, elected officials, community pages and the school district's Home and School organizations. Digital fliers were distributed through the Bloomfield eBuzz (township's monthly e-newsletter), the library's email mailing list and the public school district's digital backpack service.

  • Local Economies

    Support Local Businesses

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In March 2020, all nonessential businesses in New Jersey were ordered to close their doors to patrons due to the worsening COVID-19 health emergency. Local restaurants were severely impacted, as they had to quickly pivot to rely on take-out business only. On June 3rd, 2020 Governor Murphy signed an executive order allowing restaurants to reopen to outdoor seated customers starting June 15th. The Township of Bloomfield, partnered with the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA), took the lead to implement the following critical support for local restaurants to swiftly accommodate diners: 1) Waived the fee and fast-tracked the application process to get as many restaurants as possible to be able to provide patrons with outdoor dining. A total of 35 restaurants throughout the township took advantage of this program 2) Devoted resources and labor from the Department of Public Works to set up and maintain outdoor dining plazas, and provided some restaurants with parklets or barriers for additional on-street area usage to expand dining capacity 3) Extended outdoor dining hours based on feedback from business owners 4) Boosted press releases on the township website and links to BCA events 5) Helped restaurants obtain special permits to sell alcohol outdoors 6) Secured outdoor heaters so restaurants could extend by the outdoor dining season 7) Sponsored and promoted Bloomfield Restaurant Week in July with virtual live performances and Dining Under the Stars (July through September). This program was implemented in June 2020 in advance of the state-approved reopening date of June 15. The town council approved a bulk of the permits that week so restaurants could serve customers as soon as possible. This tremendously helped the restaurants get back on their feet and many patrons also enjoyed the extended outdoor dining options. The township plans to provide the same support and assistance to the restaurants this upcoming 2021 season.

  • Natural Resources

    Environmental Commission

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Bloomfield Environmental Commission (BEC) was formally established by the township via ordinance in 2015. Since that time, the Commission has formed valuable partnerships with existing and new environmental organizations to better inform their recommendations to the Township Council and increase the reach and impact of community initiatives. Over the course of 2020, the seven members of BEC met a total of nine times either in person (prior to the pandemic) or virtually via Zoom. Though in person projects were largely halted due to COVID-19, the committee focused on planning for the implementation and completion of the following projects: Sustainable Jersey Certification, Environmental Resource Inventory, NJ Food Waste Assembly Bill #2371, an Ordinance Prohibiting Single-Use Plastic Bags, townwide Milkweed Promotion, and the Essex-Hudson Greenway project. In 2021, the commission is looking forward to also working on the Civic Center-Library Redevelopment Project, funding opportunities through the 2021 NJDOT Transit Village Grant Program, the township’s adoption of a Tree Protection Ordinance, and promotion of a townwide composting program.

    Water Conservation Ordinance

    20 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: WATER CONSERVATION ORDINANCE On September 8, 2009, the Bloomfield Township Council unanimously adopted a new Water Conservation Ordinance, amending Chapter 556 of the township code. The ordinance was substantially based on the NJDEP model ordinance, and sets non-emergency conservation measures, penalties, and enforcement procedures. The ordinance essentially asks residents and businesses to do these things: - Conserve water used indoors - Water lawns no more than 2 days per week (any 2 days) - Water lawns only between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. - Don’t water any lawn area longer than 30 minutes - Don’t water your lawn when it’s raining, or when it’s already rained longer than 30 minutes - Make sure your installed sprinkler/irrigataion systems has a rain sensor shut-off, per state law The following are exempt from these restrictions: - Flowers and shrubs can be watered as needed with a hose that has an automatic shut-off nozzle - Cars can be washed any day when done with a hose that has an automatic shut-off nozzle - Commercial crops, sod farms, nurseries, retail nurseries, golf courses can be watered as necessary - Lawn treated with chemicals that need watering to preserve landscaping or establish new landscaping can be watered for 1 extra day only - New lawns or landscaping can be watered as needed within the first 21 days - When a licensed irrigation contractor is checking an irrigation system - When using reclaimed water (from rainwater harvesting, graywater systems, etc.) The ordinance also spells out what’s required during a severe water emergency. While we don’t expect that many will violate the ordinance, and it’s not a top priority for enforcement, penalties can be steep. After a first warning, violators can be fined from $25 to $2,000, and extreme violators can be penalized with up to 90 days of imprisonment or community service. The ordinance had hearings at the first and second readings, August 10 and September 8, before final adoption on September 8. The new ordinance is published on the Bloomfield Township website and the Greener Bloomfield website. A flyer is available on both websites as well (, and is also available in the Municipal Building, Civic Center, DPW, and Public Library. It will also be published in the Fall 2009 BLOOMFIELD BUZZ. The Bloomfield Independent Press also published a front-page article on the ordinance.

    Tree Protection Ordinance

    10 Points

    Program Summary: BLOOMFIELD TREE PROTECTION ORDINANCES Bloomfield Township enacted ordinances to protect trees in public highways (Article I, Township Code Chapter 535-1 to 535-12, adopted 11-19-1962 as Ch. 24 of the 1962 Code, and amended 1-3-2000), and Tree Removal (Article II, Chapter 535-13 to 535-24, adopted 12-5-2005 by Ord. No. 05-38). As the code says, "The Township Council of the Township of Bloomfield finds that the preservation, protection and planting of trees: aids in the stabilization of soil by the prevention of erosion and sedimentation; reduces stormwater runoff and the potential damage it may create; aids in the removal of pollutants from the air and assists in the generation of oxygen; provides a buffer and screen against noise and pollution; provides protection against severe weather; aids in the control of drainage and restoration of denuded soil subsequent to construction or grading; provides a haven for birds and other wildlife and otherwise enhances the environment; protects and increases property values; conserves and enhances the Township's physical and aesthetic appearance; and generally protects the public health and safety as well as the general welfare." File 1 upload is the section of the Township Code that refers to tree protection.

  • Public Information & Engagement

    Municipal Communications Strategy

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Bloomfield Township utilizes many avenues of communication to keep the community informed. Announcements are regularly sent out with information related to municipal operations, alerts of road closures and severe weather conditions, news of equity and sustainability initiatives, and a community calendar that includes dates and info for upcoming community programs, cultural and holiday celebrations as well as all organizational meetings. The Township’s Information Technology Department ensures that information is simultaneously posted on the Township’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account and, with the help of public relations and media consulting firm Vision Media, the information is packaged and distributed in a timely manner through local print and online newspapers as well as in the township’s monthly eBuzz email newsletter and semi-annual Bloomfield Buzz print newsletter that is mailed out to all residents at no cost. In 2019, after collecting resident input through an open community forum and online surveys, the township’s official website was completely transformed with a modern, responsive design showcasing relevant information and helpful tools up front including up-to-the-minute traffic and road closure alerts and weather advisories. On the website, residents can also opt-in to receive text notices via Notify Me about dozens of topics including water advisories, notifications from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, community alerts, and more. The township’s official website and Facebook page are currently synced to post public information about important events to social media where they are organically shared and on community group pages. In addition, the township also provides a “Bloomfield Township, NJ” mobile App where residents that may not have frequent access to computers are able to look up information and sign up to receive push notifications about all of the above events and alerts via their mobile phone.

  • Waste Management

    Prescription Drug Safety & Disposal

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Since 2016, the Bloomfield Police Department has participated in Project Medicine Drop, the drug safety disposal program run by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs that enables residents to anonymously drop off their expired and unwanted prescriptions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A large secured metal box, labeled with the Project Medicine Drop insignia, is provided for ongoing collection in the lobby of the Bloomfield Police Department at 1 Municipal Plaza, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. No count is made of the people that dispose of medications in the box and no personal information is collected. Per department policy, the box is checked and emptied by an assigned detective who then weighs the contents and secures them in a sealed package to be delivered and destroyed per the department’s procedure for the custody and destruction of controlled dangerous substances. Documentation is provided that shows a photo of the post-office sized drop-off box and informational flyers both in Spanish and English. Safety and disposal information is also available on the Bloomfield Township website. An alternative to the Drop-Off Box is to follow the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs disposal option linked to the Bloomfield Health Department’s webpage. This is useful for those unable to go to the police department. These tips were developed by the FDA and the White House Office on Nations Drug Control Policy.

    Community Paper Shredding Day

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Bloomfield Township provides the public with two community wide paper shredding events a year, typically in spring (April) and fall (October). The shredding typically lasts from 9am to 12pm. The well-attended event is held in the parking lot of a township owned park and is staffed by 6-8 workers from the Township’s Department of Public Works along with anywhere from 2-6 volunteers assisting from the Township Recycling Committee. Tonnage reports for the most recent 2020 events show that 14.52 tons of paper were shredded and recycled (please note: there is an error on the date for the supplied tonnage report, it should be November 7th instead of October 7th). While an exact car count was not tabulated, the November 7th event had a steady stream of cars during the entire 3 hour duration. The bi-annual shredding events are well known and widely promoted with information about the event being posted on the township website and Facebook page. The Bloomfield Buzz, which is available online and is sent free via hard copy to all township residents twice a year, promotes the event in the Department of Public Works’ schedule section. It is also regularly promoted in the “eBuzz”, a free monthly electronic edition of the township newsletter that is emailed to all subscribing residents. For upcoming events in 2021, the spring event has been scheduled for May 8th and the fall event date is to be announced soon.

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Bloomfield Recycling Depot, located at 230 Grove Street, has been in existence for over a decade and is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm. The purpose of the Depot is to supplement the weekly curbside recycling pickups that occur throughout town, during which, commingled materials (glass, aluminum, plastics, etc.) and cardboard/paper are picked up on alternate weeks. Township residents have the option of bringing their recycling to the Depot if they miss their regularly scheduled pickup day. In addition to the standard recycling curbside recycling that can be dropped off, the depot also accepts drop offs of electronics including computers and accessories, telephones, TV’s, VCRs / DVDs and small appliances (toasters, microwaves etc.). The Bloomfield Department of Public Works also hosts a special electronics recycling event each spring, typically held at the opposite end of town from the Recycling Depot. Helpful information about the Bloomfield Recycling Depot is made available to residents in the following ways: 1) a recycling schedule is provided in the Bloomfield Buzz, which is distributed via hard copy to all township residents twice a year and is available online. Additionally, the schedule and information about the Depot is provided in an abbreviated “E-Buzz” that is emailed monthly to all residents on the township mailing list 2) on the Township website 3) via the Recycle Coach app 4) on the Bloomfield Department of Public Works’ Facebook page.