Monday, December 21, 2009

Dumont's Green Initiative: Force or Farce?

Since the announcement in October 2008 and the April 16, 2009 kickoff of the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Green Initiatives, let's look back on what was accomplished in 2009:

Alternative Fuels: Despite grants available from the State of NJ and its mention in the December 2008 council meeting, no grants have been applied. The borough recently approved acquisition of conventionally fueled vehicles for the police department. This determination was made by running of only one Ford Diesel pickup on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) mixed with varying percentages with Diesel even though no problems were reported. Is it just me or does it seem ironic that the very links offered by the committee regarding biofuels specifically caution against using SVO due to significant long-term risks? So why was the purpose of the ill-conceived evaluation again and it influenced the decision not to consider electric vehicles how?

Compost Containers: The program is run by Bergen County and has been going on for some years. Dumont cannot take credit for that, sorry.

Green Bins: I understand Dumont has some earned revenue (I guess currency counts as green) from sale of these containers. Can this revenue offset losses in other areas? For some reason I do not think so.

Recycling: Unless that commodity is gold, the market for common household recyclables such as cardboard, glass, newsprint, paper and plastic have collapsed. Revenues from these operations have been diminished, and in some cases have become an expense item. Will we be able to afford this?

Refuse Containers: The receptacles can be seen around town in public areas. How many are there again? It appears that what used to be a quality of life issue is now a green issue. OK, I guess...

Wind Turbines: There has been much talk about wind energy, but so far it appears to be hot air. Ordinances enabling construction and operation appear nowhere to be found. Wayne gets the credit here as a trailblazer in this area; however, a recent article indicates that the fiercest opponents to the wind turbine operator seem to be from nearby residents. NIMBY, anyone?

I think it's time to drop the Green Initiatives. The more it is discussed, the more residents expect results. Unless I missed covering something here, or 2010 is a blockbuster year for significant achievements that don't break the budget, this might become an albatross.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back from Vacation

Videos of tonight's meeting will be ready for viewing by Wednesday morning. Enjoy!