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Hillsdale Considering 'Silver' Sustainability Certification

The Hillsdale Council will review whether or not they want the borough's Green Team to pursue a new certification from the Sustainable Jersey program.

The Hillsdale Council will need to decide whether or not they want to pursue a "silver" certification from Sustainable Jersey, a program which provides incentives for towns which use environmentally-friendly policies.

"We need to dig in and decide how we feel about sustainability as a community," Green Team Chair Meredith Kates said during a presentation to the council Tuesday.

The Green Team previously worked on a project to achieve bronze certification for the borough three years ago, but that is expiring. 

Sustainable Jersey offers different numbers of points for various policies, ordinances and other programs a municipality uses or offers its residents. Hillsdale currently has 220 points, but will need 350 for the next level of certification, Kates said.

The program has benefits beyond those to the environment. Hillsdale has received grants for items like the borough's recycling bins thanks to the Green Team's involvement in Sustainable Jersey.

Mayor Max Arnowitz described the group as "extremely effective."

Kates said she would provide council members with a list of their options, and officials would decide at their February 5 meeting whether or not they wanted to pursue the silver certification.

Even if the borough gives up on the certification, the Green Team will have many projects to work on, Kates said. They have provided healthy food to the Hillsdale Food Pantry through the "ample harvest" program and recently helped win grants for borough schools for various recycling and composting plans.

"We've been doing a lot on many levels in the town," Kates said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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