Forty-one Sustainable Jersey certified municipalities accepted cheers and congratulations from their peers on January 29, 2013 at the Sustainable Jersey Special Recognition Ceremony held at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe, New Jersey. More than 200 people attended an evening of surprises, great hospitality and award announcements.
Chatham Borough met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey certification at the silver-level. Chatham Borough is one of only eleven New Jersey municipalities that have attained the silver-level certification.
To become Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level, Chatham Borough submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 350 action points. Chatham Borough achieved 410 points.
Chatham Borough also received the Sustainable Jersey Champion Award for Medium-Sized Municipalities, with populations between 5,000 and 50,000. The Champion Award goes to the town that achieved the highest number of points for the year in its size category. Chatham’s neighbor, Summit, had won the award for the previous 3 years.
Sustainable Jersey's participating communities represent over half the state's municipalities and nearly 75 percent of its population. “Collectively the 378 participating Sustainable Jersey towns have the power to ensure a more sustainable future,” said Pam Mount, Chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “The certified towns have joined a first rate group of municipalities that are leading the way with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey while providing a model for towns across the United States.”
Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources, and addressing diversity and equity.
Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris accepted the award along with Green Initiatives Advisory Committee Chair, Cynthia Steffens. Mayor Harris stated that Chatham has a tremendous Green Initiatives team and a long tradition of adopting sustainable practices, including a voluntary recycling program in the 1980s and the per-bag solid waste disposal system begun in the 1990s. But the Mayor pointed out that “It really was through the leadership of Cindy Steffens, who was, and continues to be an enthusiastic and energetic taskmaster when it comes to issues of sustainability, that we were able to achieve the silver-level. Cindy and our corps of volunteers are already mapping out what we need to do in the next months to further our sustainability efforts.”
The Borough was advised of its achievements last fall and was supposed to receive the awards at the annual League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City in November 2012. However, the conference was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.
ABOUT SUSTAINABLE JERSEY
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey. Launched in 2009, Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity. It provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Sustainable Jersey is one hundred percent voluntary and each town can choose whether it wants to get certified and the actions it wants to do in order to achieve enough points to get certified.