Woodbridge Wins First-Ever Sustainable Jersey™ Champion Award

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WOODBRIDGE – Mayor John E. McCormac announced that Woodbridge Township has been named the “Sustainablity Champion” in the large population category (municipalities with a population of 50,000+) by the Sustainable Jersey Program.

Woodbridge Township is recognized for making the most progress in the Sustainable Jersey program in its respective category.  The New Jersey League of Municipalities and the Sustainable Jersey program will officially recognize Mayor McCormac and the Woodbridge “Green Team” at the Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon on Nov. 17.

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The Sustainability Champion Award recognizes municipalities that have scored the most points in the Sustainable Jersey certification program in three population categories: small (0-5,000), medium (5,000-50,000) and large (50,000+). The 2009 Sustainability Champion award winners include:

• Large: Woodbridge Township (Middlesex County)
• Medium: A tie between Ocean City (Cape May County) and the City of Summit (Union County)
• Small: Woodbine Borough (Cape May County).

“Woodbridge Township is pleased to accept the Sustainability Champion Award and will continue to set the pace as a statewide leader in green environmental and sustainable initiatives,” said McCormac.  “It is important that government lead the way in sustainable efforts.  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 – the Sustainable Jersey Program is the vehicle by which our township will move into the future as a sustainable and environmentally-conscious community.”

“The Sustainability Champion awards have brought to the forefront the amazing achievements and extraordinary commitment of four towns and their sustainability programs.  Woodbridge Township, along with the winners in the other categories, represent the very best of the best,” said William Dressel, Jr., Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
Randall Solomon, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute and Sustainable Jersey program partner applauded each of the winners.

“These awards recognize the top towns that have made the most progress across the 43 action categories of the Sustainable Jersey program. They have excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, smart land use and transportation, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources, and addressing diversity and equity, just to name a few.”  Sustainable Jersey program partner Donna Drewes, of the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey, congratulated the winning towns.  “Our winners represent the pioneers that are making extraordinary contributions toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey and world.”

New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. “The response to the Sustainable Jersey program has exceeded our expectations—currently over 240 municipalities, in all 21 counties, have registered with Sustainable Jersey and declared their intent to become certified,” said Fred Profeta, Maplewood’s Deputy Mayor for the Environment and Chair of the New Jersey Mayors Committee for a Green Future.

McCormac noted that Woodbridge Township, through the Greenable Woodbridge Program, has already implemented many sustainable initiatives, including a $7 million project to install energy-producing solar panels on municipal buildings, the creation of a ‘green’ business recognition program, integrating energy-saving, fuel efficient hybrid vehicles into the municipal fleet, the designation of Woodbridge as a Mayor’s Wellness community, and the planned development of a state-of-the-art enviro-technology incubator and industrial park, among many other initiatives.

“Greenable Woodbridge” encourages all sectors of the community to become involved in implementing innovative, cost-effective, sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and energy efficient programs and initiatives which will provide long-term ‘green’ benefits to Woodbridge’s ten towns.

Additional ‘Greenable Woodbridge’ initiatives already implemented or underway include:

• Implementation of the Mayor’s Environmental Commission, which has taken a lead role in supporting “green” and sustainable initiatives;

• Implementation of a futuristic solar panel project designed to 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;

• 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;

• 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;

• Creation of a tree replacement program in parks and municipal properties;

• Introduction of a biodiesel fuel program to power Township vehicles; and

• Creation of an all-encompassing “Greenable Woodbridge” web page located at www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us.  The web 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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