Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recycling Initiative- Flourescent lights

Based on the recylcing initiative conversation at last night's meeting, attached is a link to a website for a lamp recylcing company. I am not sure of the charge, but I have seen their lamp recyling boxes at major hospitals in the region during my site assessments. I think a box holds about 40 lamps. It's something to think about.


Monday, November 3, 2008

State Funds Esopus Weed Harvester

The Freeman reports today that Esopus will get "$59,088 to purchase a mechanical aquatic weed harvester to improve the town's aquatic vegetation control program, thereby preserving access to public beaches, use of non-motorized boating facilities and fishing areas of the river."

Looks like we might not have to do it by hand next year...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Environmental Board Meeting Oct. 15

The Town of Esopus Environmental Board will meet Wed., Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Town of Esopus Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Here is the agenda for the meeting:

1) Roll Call, Approval of Minutes and Vouchers
2) Report out on Budget
3) Energy Audit Update -- Plan to review streetlight activity
4) Recycling -- Status of grant and opportunities to beautify Recycling Center
5) Web Site and Communications update
6) Membership for 2009
7) New Business

See you there!

-Andy Bicking
Chairman, Town of Esopus Environmental Committee

Monday, September 22, 2008

Recycling Grant Opportunity

I saw this press release today. This may be a way to supplement our recycling initiative, using some of the data and grant info that's already been generated. It's a source of private recycling bins and expertise that won't require taxpayer money.

Deadline, though, is Oct. 17 -- not much time.

Washington DC, September 22, 2008 -- Coca-Cola and the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) today announced the third round of their recycling bin grant program designed to promote and support community recycling in the U.S. Through this innovative grant, recipients have the benefit of both the donated recycling bins and the expertise on how to set up recycling programs from the National Recycling Coalition. Grants will be provided for recycle bins at sporting events, music venues, schools and commercial locations. The grant program is part of Coca-Cola’s $60 million investment in recycling programs and initiatives in the U.S.

“We are excited to again partner with Coca-Cola to offer the recycling bin grant program to communities and businesses,” said Anjia Nicolaidis, deputy director of the National Recycling Coalition. “The program is designed to increase recycling rates across the country by helping to off-set the initial costs of recycling bins.”

The bin grant program leverages the purchasing power and expertise of the NRC and Coca-Cola to provide more recycling bins than would be possible if grant recipients were to purchase bins independently. The NRC also will contact grantees to offer guidance on setting up their recycling program and assessing recycling bin needs. NRC bin suppliers will then deliver bins directly to the recipients. Since its inception in the fall of 2007, the Bin Grant program has placed more than 5,700 recycling bins in 150 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Recipients have included municipalities, colleges, Native American tribes, and community organizations.

The grant program is open to cities, governments and schools as well as non-profit groups and for-profit companies. Interested parties may apply for the grant
during spring and fall application periods at: The current submittal period is open through Friday, October 17th. Grant recipients will be announced on America Recycles Day, November 15. Eligible grant activities include recycling programs at schools, universities, public parks and recreational facilities, sporting and cultural venues and events and commercial locations.

“Coca-Cola has a long history of designing packages that are recyclable and resource efficient and that have a high end-use value,” said Scott Vitters, director of sustainable packaging, The Coca-Cola Company. “We hope the bin grant program will further encourage communities to make recycling readily available as we work to continue to close the loop on our packages as well as other valuable recyclables.”

About the NRC
The NRC is a national, non-profit advocacy group with members that span all aspects of waste reduction, reuse and recycling in North America. NRC’s objective is to eliminate waste and promote sustainable economies though advancing sound management practices for raw materials in North America. NRC works with its members and partners to sponsor programs and stakeholder forums that provide tools and nurture solutions for the recycling industry. Breaking new ground in how Americans think about waste, the Coalition is a strong and clear voice for recycling. For more information about the NRC please visit

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2009 Hudson/Fulton Quadricentenial

The Town of Esopus has just received 5,000 tulips from the Ulster County Tourism Department. These were FREE...but we will need volunteers to help plant them the third week in October. What could be better for Town than to see all that color next Spring, and to remind us that nature has great gifts to give us. Help us celebrate the discovery of the Hudson me or Laura Petit to sign up to help.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summary of New State Net-Metering Law

The Department of Energy publicized NY's new net-metering laws, which may be relevant for the town hall and other town buildings. Below are the most relevant portions. The rest is available here.

New York Governor David Paterson signed a legislative package on August 5 that will encourage people throughout the state to install grid-connected solar and wind power systems, systems that generate power from farm wastes, and green roofs. Most of the bills relate to net metering, which allows homeowners and businesses to earn credit for any excess power that they feed back into the electric grid. Senate Bill 7171 expands net metering to include non-residential solar power systems up to 2 megawatts in capacity, or equal in size to the customer's peak load, whichever is less, and increases the maximum solar power system size for residential customers to 25 kilowatts, up from 10 kilowatts. The bill also attempted to increase the limit for farm-based anaerobic digesters to 1 megawatt, but a separate bill, S. 8415, knocked the limit down to 500 kilowatts, which is still an improvement over the previous limit of 400 kilowatts. S. 7171 also requires each utility to develop a model contract and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions for net metering of non-residential customers, and to develop safety standards for interconnecting these customers. It also includes a requirement for an external disconnect switch, which is rarely needed for modern grid connection equipment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Main Street Grant for Port Ewen

Good news for Port Ewen that I wanted to share. The way I see it, a healthy "downtown" Port Ewen will promote sustainability in the town as a whole. This is the text of a flier you may see around town:

Promoting Pride in Port Ewen is proud to announce the award of a $200,000 New York Main Street grant for the hamlet of Port Ewen

The funds will be available in the coming year, so we must get prepared to take advantage of this opportunity now. The work will focus on a concentrated target area on Broadway from the old Riverview Restaurant to the old Library Building.

Promoting Pride in Port Ewen is a group of citizens representing a large segment of the hamlet's population. We have been working for two years to build upon the enhancement of our Broadway corridor. We believe the New York Main Streets grant program is a great beginning towards the renewal of our beautiful hamlet.

The following three types of activities are eligible for funding:

• Façade Renovation - Matching grants of up to $10,000 per building. The grant for Port Ewen has $150,000 in funds available for Façade Renovation.
• Building Renovation - Matching grants of up to $50,000 per building for renovation of commercial/ civic space on first floor and residential units above. The grant for Port Ewen has $25,000 in funds available for Building Renovations on 5 residential units.
• Streetscape Enhancement - Since the NYS DOT has included trees and other can help us provide appropriate signs in accordance with a local signage plan, banners and other enhancements. The grant for Port Ewen has $25,000 available for streetscape enhancements.

To learn more about this grant opportunity, please attend our next meeting at the
Town of Esopus Library Monday, August, 25th at 6:30 pm

Please plan to attend if you operate a business, own a building in the target area, or wish to lean more about how we are planning to improve our hamlet in the years to come. For more information contact

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CFL, battery and electronics recylcing

As a follow up to Daves Blog on 7/16, Waste Management has just launched, a streamlined online service for the recycling of universal household waste, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), batteries, and eventually other household electronics. offers consumers convenient mail-in solutions to safely store and recycle heavy metal containing household devices, as well as resources to encourage household sustainability.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PCBs in Port Ewen water?

I just saw this in the news today. State Department of Health is apparently testing drinking water supplies up and down the Hudson to get baseline data before the dredging of PCBs from the upper Hudson begins next year. Low-level PCBs were found in Port Ewen's drinking water, as well as in most of the other community supplies that draw from the Hudson (I don't see Highland or Hyde Park on the list, which is odd, since Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck are also there, and presumably would be using the same treatment and drawing from the same general spots in the river). The concentration of PCBs detected is within federal drinking water quality standards, so presumably not something to worry about... Though I'd prefer PCB-free drinking water, myself.

When I was writing about the PCB issue for the Poughkeepsie Journal, I was always told by water treatment officials that PCBs could be detected in raw water, but that they were generally removed during filtration. It's not that there's a specific process that removes them chemically, but because they tend to adhere to sediment and sediment is removed, the finished drinking water tends to be PCB-free. The news story says the PCBs were found in "drinking water" which I would interpret as finished treated water, but it's a point I'd like clarified.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Green Best Practices for Local Governments

Here's a link to the NYS comptroller report Andy mentioned in the meeting.

Green Best Practices: How Local Governments can Reduce Energy Cost and Minimize Impact on Climate Change.

(This links to a Press Release. The report itself is a pdf, and there's a link on the page to download it. Here's the pdf.)

Quick read shows a lot of what we know: Efficiency is the first step, and second is producing your own alternative power. Some potential action items for us to explore - water and wastewater submetering, and peak load management.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

cfl cleanup

Attached is a link to the EPA page on cleaning up after a cfl breaks. As you can read, they (and we should) take this very seriously. I think the public desperately needs to be informed of the dangers of spreading mercury around their homes before it is too late. (think lead paint) The last time I was in Lowes in Lloyd there were broken cfls in at least two locations around the store. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the home improvement store as a fun place to take my children.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6/22/08: Water chestnut pull

Sunday, June 22, 2008
10 AM to1 PM
George Freer Beach Park
Canal Street, Port Ewen
Volunteers Needed!

Please join in to help make our riverfront more navigable and clear this invasive, non-native plant!

You will need to wade into the river to pull these pesky plants.
Sturdy sneakers, long sleeved shirts, long pants and work gloves are a MUST.

Under 18 must be closely supervised by their parents.

No Rain date has been scheduled

Do you like being on the water? Don't mind getting your hands wet? Want to help rid the Hudson of bad neighbors, and regain access to the river? No, not people, we're talking about water chestnuts. We need help pulling these weeds from the water where they grow uncontrollably and choke out other plant and aquatic life. Remember to bring sturdy sneakers, long pants, and gloves. Refreshments donated by local businesses are available to all volunteers.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
1 pound bacon
Water chestnuts, cleaned and dry
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1/2 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Wrap single pieces of bacon around individual water chestnuts, securing with a toothpick.
Place the wrapped water chestnuts on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Remove from heat and drain.
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, white sugar, dill pickle relish and ketchup. Pour the mixture over the wrapped water chestnuts.
Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until the sauce is hot and bubbly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6/11/08: Go Green, Live Rich book discussion in Kingston

Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach
Wednesday, June 11, 7 PM
Barnes and Noble, Route 9W, Kingston

Join Holly Anne Shelowitz, Certified Nutrition Counselor, as she leads this lively discussion about what "going green" can mean for you, how to eat local food and what that means, support your community, be healthier, and save money at the same time. Go to Nourishing Wisdom to learn more.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6/10/08: John Burroughs lecture in Kingston

Tuesday, June 10, 7 PM
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing, Kingston

HRMM Lecture Series:
John Burroughs and the Hudson River
Dr. Stephen M. Mercier, Marist College English Dept.

$5 (adults)
$4 (students & seniors)
free (museum members)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Main Street Group Meeting

Tuesday, May 27th, 6PM, Town of Esopus Library, Canal St., Port Ewen
Meeting of the Main Street Grant Stakeholders, which includes anyone who cares about Port Ewen and the Town of revitalize the Broadway corridor. At this meeting we will set goals for Main Street improvements, and finalize committee assignments. For information, contact Lois Ingellis,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

5/22/08: paintball property -- public hearing

Thursday, May 22

7 PM at the Esopus Town Hall in Port Ewen

5/29/08: 8th Annual Youth Award Recognition Event

Ulster County Youth Bureau
8th Annual Youth Award Recognition Event
Thursday, May 29
6 PM (registration begins at 5:30)
Woodcrest Community, Route 213, Rifton

David Higgins, junior member of the Esopus Environmental Board, will receive a Community Service Commendation for his efforts on Meaningful Community Involvement to Improve the Community. Congratulations, David!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5/14/08: public hearing tonight

7 PM at the Esopus Town Hall in Port Ewen

Regarding the Hudson Bluff / Esopus Lake development project

5/14/08: U. C. Global Warming Committee presents findings

The U. C. Global Warming Committee (part of Ulster Tomorrow) will present its findings and recommendations tonight at 6 PM during Legislative session, on the 6th floor of the U. C. Office Building at 244 Fair Street in Kingston.

The presentation was developed after more than a year of research, with the goal of getting the County to incorporate a strategy for shrinking its carbon footprint and reducing its contribution to global warming into its operations, including the County employee personnel handbook.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5/13/08: HV Green Drinks at Downtown Cafe

Hudson Valley Green Drinks (HVGD)
is a monthly networking event for people who work in the environmental fields, the sustainably minded, and the eco-curious. Meet over drinks to share, inquire, brain storm, find job leads, make new friends, hang out...

Tuesday, May 13
6:30 PM to 9 PM
Downtown Cafe
1 West Strand, Kingston
$5 plus a business card

RSVP: Call or e-mail Marie-Celeste (845-454-8151) with your name & organization/company. Doing it in advance will get you a snazzy name tag. RSVPing also helps make sure we have enough space at the venue.

May door prizes:- Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from your Home Garden All Year Long
- Leonardo DiCaprio's DVD The 11th Hour
...will be given out during Talk Fest (a pause in the networking to thank all involved in today's event.

The May podcast will feature your definitions of current industry buzzwords.

Yearly memberships are available; see HVGD.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

5/3/08: Rosendale Earthfest and Energy Expo

9 AM to 5 PM today!

The Rosendale Earthfest and Energy Expo is a "how-to" seminar and vendor show, intending to fight global warming, lower energy costs, and apply green designs to homes, businesses, and community.

Indoors: speakers and vendors on the theme Shrink Your Carbon Footprint, with honored guest U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey as he receives the Green Energy Leadership Award

Outdoors: Earthfest activities, food, entertainment

Performances include:

1 PM Big Sky Ensemble

4 PM Arm-of-the-Sea Theater performing Turtle Island Medicine Show

Cost: $5 per person, $10 per family

Rosendale Community Center
1055 Route 32
Rosendale, NY

Contact: Jennifer Metzger, 845-658-8967

Sponsored by: Rosendale Environmental Commission