Point Beach Needs to Improve

Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Russell (Russ) Kelly and I live on West Laurel Ave in Point Pleasant Beach. Over the last 6 years, being an avid walker, I have seen firsthand the challenges our community has with waste management, summer traffic and the smaller quality of life issues like sidewalks, depressed properties, and litter control.

I was appointed to the Point Pleasant Beach Environmental Commission six months ago and am currently running for town council. With the support of the Environmental Commission, we are looking at how we can improve some of the quality of life issues that are impacting our town.

The Point Beach Town Council and the Board of Education in 2011 and 2015 respectively passed resolutions committing our community to a certification program called Sustainable Jersey (SustainableJersey.com). Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training, and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. By supporting community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity, Sustainable Jersey is empowering communities to build a better world for future generations.

Being certified makes sense. Reducing costs and increasing revenue is the core of our sustainability program. A review of Point Pleasant Beach's recycling programs offers room for improvement. The shift toward single-stream recycling has increased the quantity of recycling collections, but has resulted in a loss of their value and markets due to wide scale contamination by non-recyclable materials (i.e., trash). Quality is as important as quantity. Quality INCREASES revenue.

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Many of our neighboring towns have demonstrated that sustainability is not only achievable but, it is also smart. Bayhead, Wall, Brick, and others have reached at least bronze certification as have many schools. The Environmental Commission working together with the Point Pleasant Beach High School and other concerned parties to form a core working group to develop long term, cost neutral (or positive) strategies for implementation and future certification.

Interested persons can feel free to contact me (rkelly888@worldlinks.com) or the Environmental Commission. If you have good writing skills we are especially interested to have a grant writer on the team.

Thanks in advance for your interest.

Russ Kelly