The Township of Millburn was awarded a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including turtle habitat protection, environmental resource inventories, an electric vehicle charging station, single use plastic reduction campaigns, pond restoration, composting and food waste diversion, creative placemaking in a business district, raingardens, composting and food waste reduction, green team capacity building and more.
The pilot program, “Take-Out Transitions To Green”, will provide one restaurant in each of the three MAPSOMIL towns (Millburn, Maplewood, & South Orange) with take-out packaging that is greener and cleaner than the plastic versions currently in use. Commonly used polystyrene and other plastic take-out containers and plastic bags will be replaced with more sustainable options. The goal of this program through community education and leading by example is to eliminate unnecessary health and environment damage by setting refusal and replacement of single-use disposable plastics into standard community practice.
“The grant funds give the Millburn Township Green Team and its MAPSOMIL partners, the Green Teams of Maplewood and South Orange, the means to launch a pilot program creating awareness about healthier, more environmentally friendly take-out food packaging options, and sparking change in the habits of our communities away from single-use disposable plastics and toward more sustainable options. Some commonly used restaurant take-out packaging contains substances that can put out health at risk, and are detrimental to the environment. Our goal is to create lasting positive change in our three municipalities.”- Rene Paparian & Ellen Ingber, Millburn Township Green Team Co-Chairs.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed 1.5 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification. Currently, 79 percent, or 446 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program.