NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ — New Providence joined nine other municipalities in Union County to become Sustainable Jersey certified. Eight others are in the progress of becoming certified, so the majority of the 21 municipalities are certified or working toward certification. This means that most of Union County is taking proactive measures to be environmentally conscious.
“Certain actions and standards must be met and documented to become certified,” Co-director of Sustainable Jersey Randy Solomon told LocalSource. “They must achieve 150 points worth of these actions to be certified at the bronze level.”
Solomon talked about some of the actions New Providence took in order to achieve bronze level certification.
“They conducted energy audits, made upgrades to their municipal buildings, installed solar panels, became more energy efficient, have a recycle depot, use non-toxic cleaning supplies and dispose of drugs safely,” said Solomon.
There are a lot of advantages to becoming Sustainable Jersey Certified, which is why the majority of the municipalities in Union County have decided to take actions toward it.
“Not only does becoming certified improve the quality of life, it also saves money,” Solomon told LocalSource. “Towns that become certified run more efficiently. They are also eligible to receive grants. Aside from the funding, they can also take a sense of pride in saying they are certified. It’s a mark of a high quality, organized town.”
New Providence originally became certified in 2013 and was recertified this fall. Certain actions expire or new activity is required to maintain certification.
“New Providence built community gardens with grants they received from PSE&G and BASF,” Co-chair of the New Providence Sustainability Committee Doug Sullivan told LocalSource over the phone. “They also support local food and business. The borough also passed a sustainable forest incentive to manage the inspection of trees.These new actions, in addition to the previous actions they’ve taken, have gotten them closer to silver certification, which is the goal for New Providence in the upcoming years.”
The borough is making strides toward silver certification as they continue to do more for the environment. The recycle depot is still going strong and is located at 4 Park Place.
“Residents can bring large items to be recycled at the recycle depot,” said Sullivan. “In other municipalities, residents don’t have this option. They would be forced to wait until cleanup week and discard of these items then. This allows residents to recycle these materials and be able to do so at any time. New Providence’s municipal energy audits ensure the buildings are run as efficiently as possible.
They implement actions to save energy, which are subsidized by the state. We hope that through other arts and culture activities that New Providence will achieve silver certification and inspire other municipalities to do the same.”