SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Monday night’s Environmental Commission was packed with interesting items and issues:

Ø  Ash Bores are a type of Beetle that have come over from Japan and have been seen in Pennsylvania.  They were recently found in Montclair and S. Orange, and soon to be in Springfield. These insects will attack and eat Ash trees to the point that they will not survive. Springfield’s DPW said that if you have any Ash trees you should take the preemptive action of cutting the tree down. If not, it will inevitably be attacked and will NOT survive. Then the weakened tree will become a safety issue, and could potentially fall and cause damage or injury. If unsure if your tree is an Ash, call the DPW. They will come by and let you know.  

Ø  Currently, the Springfield DPW allows residents to bring electronic recycling and yard brush/branches to the Community Pool the first Saturday morning of every month. Now, for the first time, residents will also be allowed to drop-off Styrofoam for recycling. The large packing sheets, like found in packaging of new TVs, for example, are accepted. The smaller items like plates and leftover containers (especially if dirtied from food) are not preferred. 

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Ø  On September 5, the Environmental Commission will be joining the Planning Board for a joint meeting. The focus will be on environmental concerns that the Planning Board may have a say in through the work they do.

Ø  The Commission has acquired a short movie entitled “Bag It.” This is an educational video on plastics, their effect on the environment, and things we can do to help the environment in that regard. With help from the DPW, the Commission will air the film for the first time at the Public Library on August 10 in the early afternoon (check on Library website for exact time). Then, the plan will be to introduce the film to seniors at the Senior Center, students at the various schools, kids at the Rec Center, etc.

Ø  There is a new program sponsored by Trex (famous for their decking materials) where they will collect bags of all of sizes, shapes and styles. You name it, they will take it. Since bags have become an issue within our own recycling program, this program’s could be perfect timing for our town.

Ø  This sparked the interest of the Commission’s Chairwoman. The idea is to set up recycling bins at locations around town where bags can be dropped off. They will be collected and brought to a central drop-off location. If we hit a certain tonnage level, Trex will donate a bench to the township. It’s a win-win for Trex and for us. We have a viable way to recycle bags, and they recycle the plastic back into the products they manufacture. 

Ø  The Commission will be working towards creating a Local Hub – combining Environmental Commissions from towns throughout Union County. Other Counties have had success doing it, so our Commission wants to take the initiative to create one for this area. In that way, there will be a meeting of the minds, shared ideas and best practices - perhaps bigger and greater ideas can be developed, on a larger scale, to help the environment, throughout a larger area.

Ø  Over 250 baby saplings were planted around Meisel Park a few weeks ago. These saplings will grow into large trees and their root systems will help absorb rainwater and aid in the reduction of flooding off the Rahway River extension by the park.

Ø  On September 8, there will be the Rahway River Community Clean-Up. In the spirit of helping ourselves by helping our neighbors, the Commission invites everyone to head to Rahway to help. The meeting place will be the Public Library, 2 City Hall Plaza and the clean-up event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Students that help out can log in three hours of needed community service.