Environmental Camp – ANNUAL EVENT

2019 was the fifth year for our Environmental Camp which was held the last week of August. The Camp consisted of four environmentally themed day trips. 25 students, ages 10-14 experienced: 1) a day at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange; 2) Drop the Beet Farms, a hydroponic farm in Farmingdale; 3) Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and 4) a giant corn maze at Stony Hill Gardens in Chester, NJ.

Sustainable Jersey Schools

The Secaucus Board of Education passed a resolution in June to participate in Sustainable Jersey for Schools. We are currently working with teachers and Secaucus High School students to fulfil the requirements to be certified as a Sustainable School District.

Food Waste Program at the High School

The Secaucus High School is now participating in a food waste recycling program with the help of the Rocket Composter. This composter was purchased through a recycling tonnage grant and will help High School and Middle School Science Club achieve their campus sustainability goals. It has been used since January of 2019 and the school and students continue to improve the program.

Community Gardens

Secaucus has four vibrant community gardens; all are free and open to all Secaucus residents. The Fountain Park community garden is located at the corner of Humboldt Street and Raydol Avenue. It has 24, 4’x8’ raised beds, five compost bins and two rain barrels. Our second community garden is located next to the Secaucus Xchange, in Laurel Hill County Park with 51, 4’x8’ raised beds and two compost bins. Our third community garden is located on Maple Street, next to the crossover walkway. It has 9, 4’x8’ raised beds and two 4’x12’ raised beds. Our newest community garden is the Mill Ridge Community garden, located behind the Mill Ridge School, with 14, 4”x8” raised beds.

All community gardens are exclusively organic, using no pesticides or sprinkler systems. Residents plant vegetables, herbs and flowers in their gardens. To apply for a plot, reserve early, as they are first come - first served, and they go fast! Generally, all plots are taken by early April.  Secaucus residents can apply for a plot by filling out an application, signing the guidelines and emailing both back to Lynn at .

Clean Up Program – ANNUAL EVENT

This past 2019 season we conducted 18 clean ups for the Town of Secaucus. Of those, 10 were corporate clean-ups with Sekisui, Quest Diagnostics, Embassy Suites & Schneider Electric, to name a few; and 8 mini-clean-ups with dedicated Secaucus residents helping out on a weekly basis in the summer.  We organized our third town wide Earth Day Clean Up at Mill Creek Marsh with over 30 people in attendance, which was amazing because it was raining! The Town receives a small amount of money from the HCIA for every clean up held – this past year we raised  approximately $3,000 through our clean-up program which we use to help purchase more cleaning supplies for the future.

  

Environmental Summer Speaker Series – ANNUAL EVENT

For the fourth year, throughout the month of July, the Environmental Summer Speaker Series was held every Wednesday night from 7:00 – 8:00 at the Meditation Garden behind the Recreation Center. This year’s speakers discussed the benefits of Bats, Eagles in the Meadowlands, Hawks and birds of prey as working birds.

Green Cleaning Products for Municipal Buildings

A list of alternative, eco-friendly cleaning products was compiled for use at Town Hall. All products introduced were comparable in both price and effectiveness to traditional cleaning products. Eco-friendly cleaning products are generally more environmentally sound and better for the health of those exposed to them.

Green Restaurant Certification

Our Green Restaurant Certification program is an ongoing initiative in Secaucus to reward restaurants that exemplify environmental and social responsibility.  Restaurants are surveyed on different aspects of sustainability but particularly on their adherence to Secaucus’ ban on Styrofoam. Once certified, restaurants receive a Green Restaurant Certification sticker to display in their window. At this time there are 27 Secaucus restaurants who have completed our survey and have been awarded our Green Restaurant Certification sticker. Many of these restaurants are active participants in our annual Restaurant Night, where they are recognized for being Green Certified.

  

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Organic Farm Share – ANNUAL EVENT

Now in its fourth year of operation, residents who signed up for our vegetable share receive a bag of organic, locally grown produce every other Wednesday from Genesis Farm CSA. Pick up is at the Recreation Center between 2:00pm and 9:00pm. The program has been well received for its seasonal variety and freshness. The program runs for 22 weeks – June thru November. For more information or to join our CSA program for 2020, please go directly to or call them at 908 362-7486.

Environmental Page of Town Website

Updating the Environmental Pages of our website is an ongoing project. We are constantly adding new programs and projects and do our best to keep the community up to date on our activities.

  

Environmental Newsletter – Green Times

Our 2019 Green Times Summer newsletter has been posted on the website. To conserve paper, we only print about 100 hard copy newsletters and distribute them at the Library, Recreation Center and Senior Center. We generally publish the Green Times twice a year to inform Secaucus residents as to the latest news and initiatives from the Environmental Department.

Tree Appreciation Campaign – ANNUAL EVENT

In 2019, we raised approximately $9,000 from businesses and residents who responded with donations for our call to plant more trees in Secaucus. This enabled us to plant 45 new trees, all which have been planted. To continue our efforts to increase the tree canopy in Secaucus, we are currently offering FREE TREES, to any resident on Hudson, Radio or Grace Avenues who has available curb side space in front of their property. Call Amanda at 201 864-7336.

  

EV Charger Stations - NEW!

Funded by a $20,000 grant “It Pays to Plug In” a New Jersey Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging grant, from the DEP, the Town of Secaucus has installed four electric vehicle charging stations. These chargers are located at the Recreation Center; the Library; Town Hall and the municipal lot on Huber Street. The charging stations were purchased from Chargepoint, the largest electric vehicle charging network to encourage the use of electric vehicles in Secaucus. EV Charger Stations locations. Residents will be able to use the public chargers at the Recreation Centre, Library, and Municipal Lot near Huber Street.

Recycling Bin inventory in all Secaucus Town Parks

We checked all the parks in Secaucus to see which parks still needed recycling bins and have started working with the DPW to place recycling bins in the parks where needed. We have just purchased over 100 new recycling bins to place around town in local parks and green spaces. 

Pollinator Program

Our pollinator program consists of four parts: 1) honey bees hives; 2) a wildflower meadow; 3) a butterfly garden; 4) bat houses.  All pollinators are in decline primarily due to habitat loss. The Environmental Department is working to help them thrive.

  • Honey Bee Hives

Honey bees are crucial for our ecosystem. To help the declining number of bees, we started with four honey bee hives and have recently increased to eight hives set up on the property behind the Secaucus Animal Shelter. No trespassing signs have been posted to warn residents of the bees. The hives are now fully functional and provide harvestable honey, which we sell at Town Hall on the second floor and the Annex on Centre Street to help fund the future of the program. We offer a small 8oz jar for $10 and a 16oz jar for $20.

  • Wildflower Meadow

A wildflower meadow planted along Route 3 East just west of the Shell Station is now in its third year of bloom!  With help from Secaucus DPW, we planted Cosmos in the Spring which successfully grew and bloomed all summer with no maintenance required. Our plan is to expand the program to include a larger area along Route 3 West for next year.  Wildflowers not only beautify the area but also provide nourishment for bees and butterflies.

  • Butterfly Garden

Monarch Park on Radio Avenue has a beautiful Butterfly Garden. Maintained and planted by the Environmental Department, it is now in its third year of growth. This garden has been certified by the Bergen County Audubon Society as a certified wildlife garden, meaning, it has all the necessary components to encourage butterflies to live, grow and thrive in a healthy habitat. Identification labels are placed to help educate residents on which plants are necessary for a healthy butterfly garden.

  • Bat Houses

Our first bat house was installed two years ago with help from Secaucus DPW. We put up a multi-chambered bat house at Mill Creek Point Park. This year we are expanding this program with three more multi-chambered bat houses going up around town. Bats eat thousands of mosquitos every night. Hopefully if we are lucky, we’ll be able to encourage bats to take up residence here in Secaucus and help us with natural mosquito control.

Parks & Trail Guide

The Town of Secaucus has 22 different parks and green spaces throughout the community. The Secaucus Parks tab on our website has a link for each park which includes photographs, a description of the park's features, and a short video showcase. You may also download the Secaucus Parks Guide which gives detailed information in a print-ready format. 

Big Green Boxes

Now in its fifth year, the Environmental Department has installed Green Boxes specifically for the collection and recycling of used batteries and small electronics.  They are conveniently placed on the first floor of Town Hall, the Recreation Center, the Library, the DPW office on Secaucus Road, Teen Center on Front Street, Harmon Cove clubhouse, Harmon Cove towers, Xchange, the Harper, Clarendon School and the High School. We have, to date, collected over a ton of batteries!

Spring Green Festival - ANNUAL

In 2020 we will be hosting, for the 10th year, our annual Green Festival which is held the first Saturday in May at the Xchange. A celebration of our planet, the event attracts eco-friendly vendors and exhibits! This free event is popular with families and children; we offer hourly presentations, pony rides, exotic animals, music, mini-golf and river eco-cruises.

NYSE Comfort Partners Program

Secaucus has endorsed NYSE Comfort Partners Program that allows residents, who qualify by income, to take part in a FREE energy audit that can lead to FREE energy efficiency upgrades. Some upgrades could include repairing old and drafty attics, replacing inefficient boilers, and even help with roof repair. Call 855-333-9191 for more information. Click here for NYSE Comfort Partners brochure

Energy Audit

The Town is performing a Local Government Energy Audit (LGEA) for all our municipal buildings and pump stations to see where we can cut energy costs and improve energy usage. We are working with Schneider Electric to find ways to reduce our energy usage.  The Town has submitted two years’ worth of energy data which Schneider will analyse to determine where we can save money.

NJ Direct Install

Secaucus is involved in the NJ Direct Install Program where we are replacing old lights and light fixtures to new LED lighting that will significantly reduce our energy usage and costs for municipal buildings including the Library, 7th Street Fire House, Town Hall, Senior Center, Community Center, Animal Shelter and the Old Recreation Center. 

Climate Action Plan

In 2020, We will be focusing on reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible as well as using more renewable energy. We are currently looking for some funding to help us hire consultants to put together a Climate Action Plan. We have spent the past two years understand what our carbon footprint is, conducting energy audits and coming up with projects that can help with energy efficiency. The Climate Action Plan will outline a 5-year timeline of work and initiatives. Once completed, the Climate Action Plan will be available for public input and review.

Plastic Bag Ban – NEW!

On August 27th, 2019, the Mayor and Town Council passed ordinance 2019-31 – a ban on single use plastic shopping bags. This ban will go into effect on February 1st, 2020. The Environmental Department is conducting an educational outreach campaign to work with local businesses. We are speaking to every business in Secaucus to make them aware of the upcoming ban and offer ideas on alternatives to plastic bags. To make the transition easier for Secaucus residents, there are FREE reusable shopping bags available now at Town Hall.

Small Business Saturday – ANNUAL EVENT

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held the Saturday after US Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers that they play a key role in helping the small businesses in their community thrive and encourage them to get out and shop and dine at local businesses.

Here are some top reasons to support your local entrepreneurs.

  • Improve your family's health. Buying local foods has numerous health benefits to your family. ...
  • Improve the local economy. ...
  • Know the people behind the product. ...
  • Keep your community unique. ...
  • Better customer service. ...
  • More personalized service.

 

Recycle Coach

The Town of Secaucus has launched a free app for all residents to promote improved recycling practices. Residents can access Recycle Coach from their desktop computers, mobile devices, or through digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. By leveraging the power of voice technology, the platform makes it easy for people to get local disposal information for thousands of household items when they need it. And the best part - it’s absolutely free!  

With Recycle Coach, residents can:  

  • Stay organized with custom curbside collection and events calendars
  • Receive collection reminders and real-time updates on service disruptions 
  • Become recycling experts with a comprehensive "What Goes Where?" search tool, including local disposal information and collection requirements for common and uncommon items
  • Take the “What Type of Recycler Are You?” quiz for useful recycling tips and tricks
  • Use the problem-reporting tool, equipped with geolocation, to notify municipal customer services about issues like missed collections 

Become a better recycler today by downloading the Recycle Coach app for free at the iTunes Store and Google Play