Green Team ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TC Voting Member
Green Team Advisory Committee
The Bernards Township Green Team Advisory Committee will advise the Township Committee on ways to improve municipal operations with "Green" initiatives which are economically and environmentally sound through research and evaluation; "Green" practices will be incorporated into Township operations by the staff representatives.
- Maintain certification in Sustainable Jersey program
- Advise on energy savings initiatives
- Advise on stormwater initiatives
- Maintain the Green Team website to create an up to date record of the Township’s Green Initiatives and Accomplishments
- Collaborate with township employees, service providers and other governmental agencies to share resource information and ideas consistent with the Mission of the GTA
- Encourage participation of all employees to solicit ideas on green initiatives
- Research and analyze green initiatives which make practical environmental and financial sense
- Develop strategies for sustainable green initiatives in municipal operations
- Consider energy use and carbon footprint calculations in proposed initiatives, projects and purchases
Appointments to the Green Team Advisory Committee
WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards strives to save tax dollars, assure clean air and water, improve working and living environments to build a community that is sustainable economically, environmentally and socially; a community which would thrive well into the new century; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards wishes to build a model of government which benefits our residents now and far into the future with green community initiatives which are easy to replicate and affordable to implement; and
WHEREAS, in an attempt to focus attention on “Green” issues, the Township Committee wishes to establish a Green Team Advisory Committee (GTA); and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards wants to begin the process of focusing on “Green” issues by starting with audits of municipality facilities and operations first; and
WHEREAS, the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards has appropriated “seed money” in their 2007 budget to begin the process of making its operations greener, and more environmentally friendly beginning with energy audits of the Township’s facilities to pinpoint the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption; and
WHEREAS, solar power, changes to fleet purchasing and maintenance, water quality improvements, and operational changes will all be considered as the Township moves to do their share to lessen the environmental impact of its operations.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards that we do hereby establish a Green Team Advisory Committee consisting of eleven members who shall be residents or employees of Bernards Township, appointed annually, but whose initial term of appointment shall be through December 31, 2007.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Bernards that the Mission, Goals and Objectives for the GTA through December 31, 2007 are established as follows:
The Bernards Township Green Team Advisory Committee will advise the township committee on ways to improve municipal operations with “Green” initiatives which are economically and environmentally sound through research and evaluation.
Submit a report and recommendations to the Township Committee by October 1, 2007 to include:
- An audit of municipal facilities
- An evaluation of municipal fleet vehicles
- A report of suggested best practices for “greener” municipal operations
- Collaborate with township employees, service providers and other governmental agencies to share resource information and ideas consistent with the Mission of the GTA.
- Encourage participation of all employees to solicit ideas on green initiatives.
- Research and analyze green initiatives which make practical environmental and financial sense.
- Develop strategies for sustainable green initiatives in municipal operations.
The Bernards Townships Green Team was established in 2007 and continues to improve municipal operations with "Green" initiatives that are economically and environmentally sound through research and evaluation. The team works in conjunction with all municipal departments to review and discuss projects implemented, underway and proposed on an ongoing basis.
A list of some of the projects and initiatives that were implemented by the Green Team are listed below:
- Installation of 4,700 solar panels at the Bernards Township Sewerage Authority on ground mounts, the drying bed roof and two steel canopies over the lagoons generating 1.1 megawatts of electricity annually
- Installation of roof top Solar Panels at the Department of Public Works Building-generating approximately 39,000 kwh of electricity on an annual basis
- Completion of the Warren Craft Meeting Room, built with high efficiency HVAC systems and ductwork, and high efficiency lighting
- Installation of a Computerized HVAC Control System at the Library and Department of Public Works Building
- Installation of LED lights and the "Wall Pack" exterior lights at the DPW and Townhall Buildings
- Paperless Township Committee Meetings- meeting room equipped with Wi-Fi allowing all attendees to view agendas and documents on their electronic devices
- Utilization of vinyl recycling bags to replace plastic bags
- Landfill Solar Project - installation of 13,000 solar panels generating approximately 4.5 megawatts of electricity annually
- Passaic River De-Snag Project - joint project with Warren, Long Hill, Berkeley Heights, Summit, New Providence, Union County and Morris County
- Installation of a Computerized Control HVAC System at the Police Department
- Shared Services Agreement with Somerset County- Supplying and Replenishing Rock Salt & Sand during inclement weather
- Installed additional insulation at the PD Department to improve energy efficiency
- Shared Service Agreement with Somerset County for the construction of a 7,000 ton Salt Dome increasing efficiency and operations for Bernards Township and Somerset County
- Supplied and delivered start up materials (top soil/mulch) to local non-profit which created community garden whose produce is donated to local Food Bank
- Partnered with local landscaping firm for Free Tree Giveaway for Township residents
- Created a wildflower garden in Pleasant Valley Park in conjunction with a local landscaping firm
- Installation of the CIRUS Controls System on 4 new & existing fleet vehicles. This is an automated system for salt spreading, temperature monitoring, data collection and GPS navigation
- SDL Portal to search permits, enter service requests online
- Automated Pill Hill Recycling Center access cards
- Automated online OPRA requests via the SDL portal
- Automated online Parking Decal Renewal and utilization of license plate readers by the Police to monitor parking
- BPU Direct Install Program- all lighting fixtures retrofitted with LED bulbs at the Municipal Townhall Building, Engineering/DPW Building, Health Department, Police Department and the Community Service/ Grounds Buildings
- HVAC Heating and Cooling Upgrades at the Municipal Townhall Building
- Purchased 2 fully electric Chevy Bolt vehicles
- Installation of two Level 2 charging stations located at the Townhall Municipal Building and the DPW/Engineering Building
- A third Level 2 Dual-Port charging station is underway in the downtown municipal parking lot
- Expansion of Electric Salt Spreading Equipment to reduce the quantity of deicers on roadways
- Participation in a reverse auction with EMEX for the purchase of electricity
- Submitted application for Sustainable Jersey Certification in 2022
- Maintained certification in Sustainable Jersey: Silver-Level Certification in 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2019 and Bronze-Level Certification in 2009 and 2022
Bernards Township is actively working on making all aspects of municipal facilities “GREENER” and more environmentally sustainable. This policy encompasses municipal buildings, grounds and facilities operations.
The overarching goals of this policy include promoting efficiency, reducing waste, conserving resources, reducing overall environmental impact, costs savings promoting health and safety of municipal employees and residents, and improving the quality of life for all members of the community
Aspects of this initiative include:
- An energy audit was completed and numerous upgrades were made based on these findings
- Energy efficiency, upgrading and retrofitting equipment and building infrastructure whenever possible, including lighting efficiency and, heating and air conditioning
- Completion of a LEED certified building addition to Municipal Sewerage Authority (see below)
- Installation of energy star products
- Installation of water savings devices and promoting water conservation in general
- A green grounds and maintenance policy, implementing strategies of efficient landscaping, water conservation and integrated pest management
- Work towards sustainable source of energy generation for DPW complex in the form of solar power
- A comprehensive recycling program for municipal buildings and residents of the township
- A green purchasing policy in place for many items being purchased by the municipality
- A green municipal garage policy, conserving resources, saving energy, reducing pollution and waste, and promoting worker health and safety
- Reduction of hazardous materials whenever feasible- promoting health and safety, reducing environmental risk, reducing required record keeping and reducing costs
- Implementation of BPU Initiative
Bernards Township Sewerage Authority
Administration Building Expansion
Green and Sustainable Concepts of Design
- The building was designed with green and sustainable concepts and is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
- By expanding an existing building, there was minimal new site disturbances, no tree removal and minimal soil run-off.
- Solar panels were installed on the roof to provide heat for the hot water heating system.
- Operable windows were installed to provide all occupants with direct daylight, outdoor views and natural ventilation. In this project, 100% of regularly occupied spaces have direct daylight and outdoor views.
- All of the plumbing fixtures are low flow fixtures. With this LEED category alone, the building saves as much as 42.6% of water usage compared to using conventional plumbing fixtures. Less water usage also means less waste water generation.
- Rain barrels are installed to collect rain water from the roof surface. This water is used for site irrigation, and at the same time to reduce surface water run off on site to storm system.
- The roof was selected to be a highly reflective metal roofing material to reduce the heat gain.
- To maintain the indoor air quality, all materials used in this building were VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) free. Materials with higher recycled content were also specified for this project. Local materials were used as much as possible.
- All wood materials in this building were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for companies using sustainable practices.
- All construction demolition/waste materials were sorted and recycled.
- Surface bricks were salvaged and reused for patching the remaining walls.
- The indoor air quality is maximized in several ways. The building was fully flushed out before occupancy to blow out all odors and particulates. Filter systems were installed to reduce particulate and allergens once occupied. The air quality is monitored after the occupation.
- To reduce any exterior light pollution, the only new light at the exterior is the flagpole light. It is a solar powered LED light which only shines downward.
- To save operational costs, all interior lights are controlled by switches with motion sensors. When there is no movement detected in the room for a certain length of time, the lights will be turned off to save electricity.
- To give the occupied space a more comfortable indoor working environment the building exterior includes extra insulation. The HVAC system was designed to be more efficient with a cost of at least 7% lower than normal systems.
Bernards Township has established a Green Grounds and Maintenance Policy. This comprehensive policy has been formulated through input and involvement of the Green Team, Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation Department, Environmental Commission and the Engineering Department.
The policy encourages and promotes measures and initiatives that protect, preserve, and enhance the environmental quality and health of residents of the community.
An integrated approach is used, incorporating efficient landscape design, minimization of water consumption, utilization of recycled materials and composting, and implementation of an integrated pest management policy.
A number of actions of this policy have been implemented. Several areas maintained by the town have been planted with native vegetation, replacing lawn areas wherever possible. This has saved the town in water usage, mowing costs and associated pollution (both air and water), reduced energy costs and helped enhance biodiversity in the community. The public works department has also installed rain barrels and utilized other measures such as stone curbing to help mitigate and control stormwater runoff.
This is all part of a comprehensive environmental sustainability program which also incorporates IPM practices, limiting the use of pesticides and fertilizers properties, actively invests in purchasing and protecting open space, and encourages residents to partake in the “going green” initiative.
Some of the specific measures implemented include:
- Compost landscape waste (e.g. leaves, prunings, etc) or use the waste as mulch, using the “wood hog” mulching machine.
- In house use of EZ Screener to recover soil and use in field maintenance.
- Use native species instead of exotic plants whenever possible. Native species require less maintenance and provide valuable habitat for local wildlife.
- Minimize lawn areas to reduce required maintenance, and replace lawn areas with higher value landscaping.
- Design landscaping with stormwater management in mind. Consider property contours and create plantings that will slow water flows and filter runoff to improve groundwater recharge and prevent erosion.
- Significantly reduce or eliminate the use of conventional pesticides through an Integrated Pest Management program.
- Avoid excessive fertilizer use. Test soils for pH to determine which plants are best-suited to the soil type. Further test soils to determine composition, and then apply specific fertilizers to correct soil chemistry if needed instead of using a generic mix that often provides excess phosphorus.
- Improve operations with efficient watering schedules, improved irrigation equipment, and rainwater capture. Water the landscape only when needed instead of setting schedules that are not sensitive to weather and species-specific needs. Minimize evaporation, and utilize efficient irrigation techniques, such as drip irrigation systems. Be sure to search for and fix leaks promptly.
- Incorporation of the “Green garage” program, under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department. All vehicles are serviced and maintained with an emphasis on utilizing environmentally friendly practices including recycling, maximizing vehicle life, and using environmentally preferred products whenever possible.
Community Asset Mapping provides a collective inventory of the positive and valued aspects of a community, including places, institutions, programs, and people. In doing so, it also provides the foundation for assessing gaps and making improvements. Asset mapping is a positive (and enjoyable) approach to learning about a community. It begins to answer the question "Where are we now?" and helps community members to think positively about the place in which they live and work. It also challenges residents to recognize how other people see and experience the same community. This process fosters civic participation and can be a great way to engage students in their community. By identifying community assets, communities can better understand how to build on these important community resources to sustain and enhance future generations.
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