by Mayor John E. McCormac
In today’s world, living a “green” lifestyle is no longer a luxury. If we are to provide our children with a secure future, we must start now to better manage the ways we use energy and other natural resources at work and home. “Greenable Woodbridge” is the vehicle by which our township will move into the future as a sustainable and environmentally-conscious community.
Over the past several years, Woodbridge Township has set the pace as a statewide leader in “green” environmental and sustainable initiatives.
Today, we are taking the next important step by seeking the designation as a certified “Sustainable Jersey” community. The ‘Sustainable Jersey’ Program – sponsored by the New Jersey League of Municipalities – provides municipalities with the know-how and resources needed to plan for a ‘green’ future. And, as a ‘Sustainable Jersey’ community, Woodbridge Township will be eligible to receive the tools, guidance, training and financial resources necessary to institute programs and initiatives that provide for long-term “green” savings and sustainability.
What is Greenable Woodbridge? “Greenable Woodbridge” is a long-term, Township-wide environmental awareness initiative that will touch nearly every resident, businessperson, and visitor to our community with real, environmentally-friendly programs and alternatives. “Greenable Woodbridge” is designed to identify the environmental and sustainable issues of importance to the future of our community, and to provide the direction and initiatives we can all take to establish Woodbridge Township as a leader in sustainable living. But it will take the participation of everyone working together to put into place the “green” practices that will benefit all of us into the future.
We have already implemented many programs and sustainable initiatives, including:
• The Mayor’s Environmental Commission has taken a lead role in supporting “green” and sustainable initiatives;
• Implemented a $7 million project to install energy-producing solar panels at the Community Center, Main Library, and four other municipal buildings. The solar panel project will save township taxpayers long-term energy costs by putting in place a self-sustaining source of energy that will provide a portion of the township’s power needs for years to come;
• Creation of a “green” business recognition program;
• Purchase of energy-saving, fuel efficient hybrid vehicles to supplement the municipal fleet;
• Prior designation of Woodbridge as a Mayor’s Wellness community;
• Designation of 106 acres in an underutilized industrial section for the development and construction of a state-of-the-art Enviro-Technology Incubator;
• Development of educational and instructional programs promoting “green” technology and sustainable programs for schools, community associations and local businesses;
• Opening a modern and efficient recycling and bulk waste “Convenience Center” at the Public Works facility in Keasbey;
• Scheduled installation of solar-powered, decorative street lights and trash compactors along primary thoroughfares;
• Installation of solar-powered pedestrian crosswalks at high-traffic intersections, including Main Street in downtown Woodbridge;
• Promotion of energy-efficient building and construction by municipal government and the private sector;
• Expansion of the Public Works recycling program to include the disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs, electronics and computers;
• Replacing standard light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent lighting at municipal buildings and facilities;
• Promoting “buy local” initiatives and creation of a downtown Farmer’s Market for “Jersey Fresh” produce; and
• Creation of a tree replacement program in parks and municipal properties.
To better understand how you can participate in the everyday environmental actions that will preserve and protect our environment, log-on to the township’s “Greenable Woodbridge” web page at www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us. The page provides information on nearly every aspect of “going green,” along with easy-to-use information on some of the first steps we can all take to establish Woodbridge Township as a leader in “green” and sustainable living.
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