NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley celebrated Earth Day, Saturday, April 22; however the township reminds everyone to take care of the planet every day with Green initiatives throughout the year. 

Last Saturday, April 15 residents participated in Shredding Day in Municipal Lot 1 on William Street. Over 400 people brought 20,000 pounds of paper to be shredded in two trucks. Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli explained the event is always held around tax day.  “People get rid of old tax forms, bank statements. They can destroy documents in a safe way and at the same time the paper gets recycled,” he said.

On Earth Day itself the Public Works Department held Compost Day in Municipal Lot 8 for the residents, while the Department of Parks and Recreation along with the Shade Tree Division held their annual Earth Day clean-up event with the help of residents.

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The township gave back to its citizens about 25 cubic yards of compost.  According to the DPW the compost consists of the leaves collected in the fall. The only requirement for this free rich soil is people had to be a Nutley resident. There was a limit of five leaf bags or two garbage cans full of compost, per a household.

Residents circled the giant heap with their shovels, bags and buckets collecting this treasure. “We have a spot in the Community Garden over by the Amvets and will use it there,” said Victoria Aristy, of Nutley.

Nutleyite Lynn Hedler was digging up some compost, while her husband, Kirk waited to take the heavy bin away. “We will be using the compost for our vegetable and floral gardens. We compost at home as well, some kitchen stuff, egg shells, coffee grinds, vegetable scraps. This is a great idea,” said Lynn Hedler.

Next Saturday, April 29 from 8 to 1 p.m. residents can pick up a free vegetative waste bin from the Municipal Garage, 1 Cortland St. All leaves and yard clippings can go in here and placed at the curb on the same day as the scheduled recycling pick up. Also every fall the DPW provides residents with 10 free bio-degradable leaf bags.

This was the Parks & Recreation 10th Annual Parks & Recreation Earth Day Cleanup. Over 200 residents, including children, volunteered their time to tidy up Nutley’s schools and parks on a soggy Saturday morning to tidy up Nutley’s schools and parks  including Booth Park, Memorial Park 1, 11, and 111 and Kingsland Park.

All the elementary schools, Lincoln, Radcliff, Spring Garden, Washington and Yantacaw, as well as, the high school were cleaned of litter and debris. Volunteers, fifth graders Amie Feliciano and Gabriella Gustoso found cans, candy wrappers and paper. “Shards of glass and plastic bags,” responded Feliciano. “I found a large medal pipe, plastic handles for jump ropes, plastic bags and a lot of cigarette buds,” added Jaeden Knott.

A ceremony was held under the gazebo in Kingsland Park with pizza, cookies and a green Earth Day bag and flying disc for the participants. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announced the winners of the poster contest, kindergarten student Madison Becton from Washington School, third grader Jaeden Knott of Yantacaw School and fourth grader Marley Madureira of Lincoln School.

This is the second year in a row that Madureira won the Earth Day Poster Contest.  Maduereira also won for artistic talent in 2012, for the age group 6 and under, when she was in the Pre-K Nutley Community School. She was one of 50 students nationwide to earn the artistic achievement award from Artstamps.

“Even though not an ideal weather day, a lot of enthusiasm, excitement in cleaning, planting and learning what Earth Day is about. It makes the town so much better for all,” said Tucci. “Today is about Earth awareness, how to keep it clean, keep the soil clean, keep the water clean and the air clean. We are doing our part,” he added.

“We are going to get a little wet; we are going to plant that tree. We plant a tree for Earth Day every year,” said Tucci.

Nicholas Pugliese of the Shade Tree Division explained the importance of the tree, while co-workers Cory Pilsbury, Michael Kirk and Nicholas Gould planted the Kwanzan Cherry.  Children helped pile the dirt around the tree. Pugliese asked the volunteers what purpose the trees serve. “They turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen,” responded Webelos Scout Joseph Buset, 10, of Cub Scout Pack 141.

The day’s events concluded with a Mad Science presentation.

Earth Day may be April 22 however Greenutley, the township’s Go Green Committee, runs events and activities all year to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, composting and reducing waste and pollution as well as how to grow organic food and save energy.

Rigid plastic recycling was earlier this month. Those items collected included garbage cans, resin lawn furniture, laundry baskets and children’s outdoor play units.

Greenutley recycling day events to come are Denim Recycling on June 25. Items in any condition and color are accepted. Textile Day is July 9. Clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts and fabric scraps 36” x 36” or larger are requested. There is also days for ink cartridges, hangers, trophies, VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs as well as the jewel cases.

Also the township takes electronics in Municipal Lot #8 about four times a year; ever since curbside pick-up in 2015 was put to an end. The next drop off day is June 17.

For more information on Greenutley programs or to join the committee, email greenutley@nutleynj.org or call 973-284-4959.