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Hoboken Works to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste Disposal and Keep Hoboken Clean

As a dense coastal City, Hoboken is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The earth’s climate is changing because of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Hoboken plans to help mitigate these climate change impacts by lowering the City’s greenhouse gas emissions beyond the targets established by the Paris Climate Agreement.
The transport of waste for disposal creates greenhouse gas emissions from the trucks that haul it, as well as creating traffic on already congested streets. The City also pays nearly $100 per ton of waste sent to a landfill. Reducing the volume of waste at its source is the most effective way to reduce the negative impacts of waste disposal, both environmentally and economically. To lower the impacts of waste disposal, the City of Hoboken is undertaking the following waste projects in 2018:
·         Partner with Community Compost Company to launch a free organic waste (compost) pickup program for local businesses. Businesses that might be interested in this free service are invited to complete the business composting survey at www.hobokennj.gov/compost.
·         Partner with Community Compost Company to open a free organic waste drop site for residents at the Hoboken Recycling Center.
·         Launch the “Keep Hoboken Clean” campaign to educate residents about the importance of picking up pet waste and not littering, thanks to support from New Jersey Clean Communities, and increase enforcement of pet waste and littering violations according to the Hoboken Code.
Residents are invited to learn more about these projects at events today, April 25, including:
·         Free drop off for plastic toys, clothing/shoes, household items, kitchenware, small appliances, sports equipment, books, CDs/videos, and small furniture from 3 PM – 6:30 PM at All Saints Episcopal Day School, 707 Washington Street.
·         Earth Week Waste-Less Workshop at 7 PM at Mulligan’s, 159 1st Street. The workshop will help residents and businesses understand planned recycling and composting improvements with a presentation by the City of Hoboken. It will conclude with a screening of the movie Dirt!
For more information about Earth Week events and a full list of acceptable materials for the recycling drop off event, visit www.facebook.com/hobokengreenteam.

Mayor Bhalla to Introduce City-Wide Gender-Neutral Bathroom Ordinance

Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla will introduce an ordinance at a press conference in City Hall on Wednesday, April 25 at 11 a.m., requiring all public and private single-occupancy restrooms in the City of Hoboken to be gender-neutral, expanding on a similar executive order he will issue at the same time.

If passed by the City Council on May 2, Hoboken will be the first city in the state of New Jersey, and one of few cities nationally, to pass such a law.

“This is a chance for Hoboken to lead the state and the country in affirming the civil rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Bhalla. “Frankly, this is a no-brainer, and I hope the Council will do the right thing and pass this ordinance unanimously. From here, let’s continue to identify ways in which our community can be more supportive of our LGBTQ+ residents and visitors.”

Bhalla will be joined at the conference by other elected officials as well as Pastor Peter Beeson from St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church and representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, Hudson Pride Center, and other advocacy groups.

“Hudson Pride Center is proud to represent and serve a county that is revolutionizing the fight for gender identity and expression,” said Hudson Pride Center CEO Michael Billy. “The actions taken today by Mayor Bhalla strengthen the ongoing resistance to discriminatory policies and practices against LGBTQ people across the country. Now, more than ever, it is important that our cities take inclusive strides in policy that embrace our diversity.”

Bhalla’s executive order will take effect immediately at the time of signing. The City of Hoboken has committed to changing all affected restroom signs by May 31, 2018, in time for the start of June, which is LGBT Pride Month.

“All Hoboken residents, workers and visitors deserve access to safe and inclusive public spaces no matter their gender identity,” said Xavier Persad, Legislative Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign. “This new policy and the proposed ordinance reflect best practices being adopted in a growing number of municipalities across the country and send a clear message that Hoboken is open for all. We thank Mayor Bhalla for his leadership in updating city policies and for his support of the proposed ordinance.”

“While New Jersey state law is clear that transgender people must have access to sex-segregated facilities matching their gender identity, Hoboken is taking an important, common sense step forward in making sure that single occupancy restrooms are gender-neutral” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “We applaud Mayor Ravi Bhalla and are thankful for his partnership in making Hoboken more accepting and welcoming of its LGBTQ residents”.

“We commend Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken for sending a strong message of inclusivity, non-discrimination, and that all people are valued,” said Joshua Cohen, Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey Regional Office. “It is essential that we push ourselves and our communities to enact policies and practices like these which protect and affirm the rights and safety of all.”

Upon passage of the city-wide ordinance, existing businesses and other affected entities will have 60 days from the effective date to comply by replacing existing gender-specific signage with gender-neutral signage. New businesses and establishments must comply immediately upon opening to the public.

Hoboken Works to Adapt to Climate Change Impacts on Water

As a dense coastal City, Hoboken is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts including rising sea levels and more frequent and intense storm events. Hoboken is adapting to these impacts by managing all water – drinking water, stormwater, wastewater – in an integrated and inclusive manner as “one water.” With this one water approach, the City will improve all water infrastructure to ensure reliability and achieve multiple benefits across natural and built hydrologic systems.

The City of Hoboken is undertaking the following water projects in 2018:

  • Complete the Washington Street project to upgrade 1.25 miles of water mains and invest more than $5 million to upgrade 1.6 miles of water mains, the first phase of a comprehensive water system renewal plan.
  • Advance the City’s comprehensive water management strategy to reduce coastal and rainfall flooding called “resist, delay, store, discharge.” The City will continue working closely with NJDEP to design the “resist” portion of the strategy, a mix of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping features, such as an expanded Harborside Park, that act as barriers along the coast during high tide and storm surge events, www.rbd-hudsonriver.nj.gov. The City will also continue partnering with NHSA to implement the “delay, store, discharge” portions of the strategy, such as the Northwest Resiliency Park, www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark.
  • Partner with NHSA to redesign roadways and drainage systems in the area of 9th Street and Madison Street.
  • Continue the first green infrastructure volunteer impact program which provides hands-on training in green infrastructure maintenance for Housing Authority residents and Hoboken youth, thanks to support from Cities of Service and the Walmart Foundation. www.hobokennj.gov/greenjobs.

Residents are invited to learn more about these projects at events today, April 24, including:

  • BYO lunch-and-learn green infrastructure tour of Southwest Park starting at 12 PM at the Hoboken Housing Authority, 400 Harrison Street.
  • BYO bike-and-learn tour of Rebuild by Design coastal flood mitigation project starting at 1 PM at Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.
  • GI 101: introduction to green infrastructure starting at 4 PM at Stevens Institute of Technology North Building Room 101 (between 8th and 9th Streets on the Stevens Campus)
  • Earth Week One Water Workshop at 7 PM at Mulligan’s, 159 1st Street. The workshop will help residents and businesses understand planned water infrastructure improvements with a presentation by the City of Hoboken. It will conclude with a screening of the movie Before the Flood.

For more information about Earth Week events, visit www.facebook.com/hobokengreenteam.

Hoboken Works to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Energy Use

As a dense coastal City, Hoboken is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts including rising sea levels, more frequent and intense storm events, higher temperatures, and longer heat waves. The earth’s climate is changing because of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Hoboken plans to help mitigate these climate change impacts by lowering the City’s greenhouse gas emissions beyond the targets established by the Paris Climate Agreement.

Hoboken’s highest source of greenhouse gas emissions is energy use. To lower emissions from energy use, the City of Hoboken is undertaking the following energy projects in 2018:

  • Establish a renewable government energy aggregation program that provides both cost savings and more renewable energy supply for Hoboken residents, businesses, and municipal facilities.
  • Develop a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Climate Action Plan that quantifies a path to carbon neutrality by 2027.
  • Pursue the Sustainable Jersey Gold Star Standard in Energy.
  • Continue the Hoboken Solar Challenge which helps residents compare quotes from pre-qualified solar installers, www.hobokensolar.org.
  • Complete an expanded feasibility study for the development of a city-wide microgrid to distribute power to critical and community facilities in an emergency.

Residents are invited to learn more about these projects at the Earth Week Energy Savings Workshop tonight, April 23 at 7 PM at Little City Books, 100 Bloomfield Street.

The workshop will help residents and businesses cut their energy bills and save money, with presentations by the City of Hoboken, New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ and Direct Install Program. It will conclude with a screening of the movie Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community.

For more information about Earth Week events, visit www.facebook.com/hobokengreenteam.

Mayor Bhalla to Introduce Transgender-Affirming Executive Order

Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla will issue an executive order at a press conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Office of the Mayor in City Hall. The executive order will make all city-owned single occupancy restrooms gender neutral.
 
“Former Mayor Zimmer took a step in the right direction last year when she announced that people could use the public restrooms that most closely matched their gender identity,” said Bhalla. “This next step is meant to further protect the civil rights and dignity of our transgender, gender non-binary, and queer residents and visitors, but this is just the start. I will continue to introduce progressive and inclusive policies to protect all residents.”
 
Further details, including the text of the order as well as next steps, will be discussed at the Wednesday press conference.
 
The executive order will take effect at the time of signing immediately following the announcement. Signs on all city-owned single-occupancy restrooms will be replaced to reflect this change by May 31, 2018, prior to the start of June, which is LGBT Pride Month.

Hoboken Invites Residents to 2018 Earth Week Events

The City of Hoboken is celebrating Earth Day and Arbor Day with a week of community volunteering and education activities about sustainability and resiliency efforts.

“Sustainability, resiliency, and the effects of climate change are inextricably linked,” said Hoboken mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla. “As climate change continues to threaten quality of life, Hoboken will become a leader in climate mitigation.”

More than five years after Hurricane Sandy inundated Hoboken with nearly 500 million gallons of storm surge, the City has become an urban laboratory and national model for climate adaptation. Hoboken has made significant investments and secured nearly $10 million in grant funds from various local, state and federal sources to improve Hoboken’s resiliency.  

The City adopted a Green Building & Environmental Sustainability Element of the Hoboken Master Plan last year which outlines the City’s long-term vision for a sustainable Hoboken. Residents can learn how Hoboken will achieve this vision by participating in Earth Week events:

Saturday 4/21

SPRING FLING!

 

Sapling Giveaway

 

Monday 4/23

ENERGY

 

Learn about Hoboken’s energy projects to mitigate climate change impacts + learn how to save $ on your energy bills + see the movie Wisdom to Survive

 

Tuesday 4/24

WATER

 

 

BYO lunch-and-learn green infrastructure tour of Southwest Park

BYO bike-and-learn tour of Rebuild by Design coastal flood mitigation project
GI 101: introduction to green infrastructure
Learn about Hoboken’s water projects to adapt to climate change impacts + see the movie Before the Flood
Wednesday 4/25

WASTE

 

 

FREE drop off for food waste/compost + e-waste + single-stream recycling

FREE drop off for plastic toys + clothing/shoes + household items + kitchenware + small appliances + sports equipment + books + CDs/videos + small furniture
Learn about Hoboken’s composting and recycling projects to + see the movie Dirt!
Thursday 4/26

TRANSPORTATION

 

 

 

Park-ing Day + learn about Hoboken’s transportation projects to mitigate climate change impacts + register for Hudson Bike share

Intro to Urban Farming
FREE rides on Hoboken HOP
Get 1 day of FREE unlimited 30-minute trips on Hudson Bike Share during Earth Week! You pick the day (voucher code released by Hudson Bike Share before Earth Week)
Friday 4/27

ARBOR DAY

 

Shade Tree Commission Tree Planting

Join the citizen science adventure to document Hoboken’s hidden biodiversity  by observing as many plant and animal species as possible in Hoboken’s first ever Bio-Blitz! Participate by downloading the iNaturalist app to your phone

 

For time, location, and more information about specific events, visit www.facebook.com/hobokengreenteam.

To read the Green Building & Environmental Sustainability Element of the Hoboken Master Plan, visit www.hobokennj.gov/sustainability.

Mayor Bhalla to Speak at Columbine Anniversary Rally for Gun Control

Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla will join a student-organized protest rally to end gun violence on Friday, April 20 from 4-5 p.m. at City Hall. The rally is scheduled on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

“If we fight back against the lobbyists and legislators keeping us from enacting effective gun control measures, we can prevent a tragedy like Columbine from happening to our community,” said Bhalla. “The right to life is the first unalienable right Thomas Jefferson declared for our country, and I am so proud of our young students for leading the charge on this important issue.”

The event is hosted by Hoboken members of Students Demand Action Hudson County as well as Moms Demand Action Hudson County.

“I don’t intend to politicize a tragedy that happened before I was even born,” said 13-year-old Hoboken student Toby Platt, an organizer of the rally, “but children’s lives are apolitical, and we need to discuss solutions to gun violence in schools. The fact is, school shootings have been commonplace my entire life. Mass shooter drills are part of the learning routine – my school had one just this morning. While I shouldn’t have to fight for my own, or others’, right to live, I will do everything I can to make sure my community never has to know the pain so many have had to face.”

The event will honor the victims of Columbine with a reading of their names. In addition to Bhalla, speakers will include Platt, Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, and Hoboken students and educators.

Hoboken Green Team Invites Businesses to Take the Annual Green Business Pledge

The Hoboken Green Business Recognition Program distinguishes local businesses that are advancing sustainability and environmental responsibility in our community. In 2017, the Green Team recognized 23 local Hoboken Green Businesses. Simply Juiced was named as Hoboken’s most sustainable business of 2017 for composting more than 57,000 lbs of food waste, diverting that waste from landfills and enriching organic farms.

Businesses in Hoboken are invited to apply for recognition in 2018 by completing the Green Business Pledge.  This is an annual application process to track progress in sustainability efforts; each business must reapply annually for recognition. The pledge takes less than five minutes and should be completed by May 1, 2018.

The Green Team will review all submitted pledges and recommend businesses for recognition at the 7th annual Hoboken Green Fair on June 2, 2018.

Hoboken Green Businesses will receive a Hoboken Green Business sticker to display at their storefront; a digital version of the Hoboken Green Business sticker to post on their website; recognition as a Hoboken Green Business at the 2018 Hoboken Green Fair; a press release that will be distributed via the City Nixle emails, website, and social media; a “Green Business Spotlight” on the Hoboken Green Team Instagram page; a free space at the 2018 Hoboken Green Fair; and recognition as a Hoboken Green Business on the Hoboken website.

For more information about the Hoboken Green Business Recognition Program, please visit www.hobokennj.gov/greenteam.

Mayor Bhalla to Host a Community Meeting on Future of Multi Service Center

The City of Hoboken is looking for public input on how the under-utilized Multi Service Center should be redesigned for the future. A community meeting will be held on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Multi Service Center (124 Grand St.).

“This might be the most consequential meeting for the Multi Service Center that will shape its role in our city for generations to come,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla. “I urge everyone invested in Hoboken’s future to please attend the meeting and tell us what you want to see out of this space.”

After the meeting, the City will retain an engineering firm to conduct a feasibility study and cost analysis, based on public input.

“I hope city residents and officials will join me in determining how this space can best serve the needs of Hoboken,” said Bhalla.

 

Hoboken Green Team to Host 7th Annual Green Fair, Invites Vendors and Participants

The City of Hoboken Green Team will host the 7th Annual Green Fair on Saturday, June 16, 2018.
 
The 7th Annual Green Fair will be held from 11am to 3pm at Church Square Park, entering from the corner of Fourth Street and Garden Street, and will feature live music and organic food vendors. It is intended to introduce sustainable lifestyle choices to the community, raise awareness regarding environmental issues, and demonstrate how consumers can reduce their impact on the earth by selecting sustainable, eco-friendly products and services.
 
Green businesses or non-profits whose mission aligns with environmental sustainability are invited to participate in the Green Fair. The Green Team also welcomes the local arts community. Interested vendors can submit the online registration form at www.hobokennj.gov/greenfair and contact Jennifer Gonzalez at jgonzalez@hobokennj.gov with any questions. The final day for registration is Monday, June 11, 2018. 
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