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Boro Wins Silver Sustainable Jersey Certification

Chatham Borough became one of 10 towns certified as silver level sustainable town, thanks to the efforts of Cindy Steffens.

Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris announced Monday that Sustainable Jersey has awarded the borough with Silver Certification for 2012.

Harris was quick to credit with the credit the "significant achievement" of winning silver level certification. Steffens, who chairs the Green Initiatives Committee, was a "taskmaster," Harris said, who outlined all the projects and the work needed to win silver certification and made sure they all got done in time for the May 31 deadline.

Only 10 towns were awarded silver level certification through Sustainable Jersey this year, Harris said.

Councilman Len Resto said, "It was really a core group of six volunteers who made this happen," with Steffens taking the lead.

"Other towns that got silver certification have 40 to 50 volunteers [or] paid staff" to manage their Sustainable Jersey applications, Resto said. "It really is amazing what this group of six people was able to do."

Sustainable Jersey encourages municipalities to implement points-earning programs which help "sustain" quality of life and reduce waste and carbon footprints. Municipalities are awarded points for various actions in different categories.

Silver level certification requires 350 points for actions across eight of a possible 16 categories. A town applying for silver level certification must also have a Green Team established and must implement three out of seven possible priority actions. It is the highest level of certification Sustainable Jersey offers.

In the application to Sustainable Jersey, Steffens and the other volunteers who worked with her pursued 410 points and four priority actions, including:

  • Energy tracking and management (priority action)
  • Environmental resource inventory (priority action)
  • (priority action)
  • Fleet inventory (priority action)
  • Farmers Market

Chatham Borough first won in 2010. Certification is good for three years from the time of notification.

The borough will be officially presented with their certification when the League of Municipalities meets in November.

As a pun on Steffens' work to get Chatham Borough certified through Sustainable Jersey, Harris created a called the Sustainable Volunteer award.

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