NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

Internet: http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us

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Meeting held on March 26, 2012

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, March 26, 2012 at the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Autumn Thomas and members Sanford Bender and Pam Fitzpatrick. Also in attendance were Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher and resident Eric Korn.

Call to Order: Ms. Thomas called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Presentation: Tina Leck of Leck & Son Waste Services and e-LECKtronics was in attendance to discuss plans for a free household electronic waste and recycling collection event. Leck has recently partnered with ECOvanta to recycle electronics. As a service to residents, an electronic waste collection will take place on Saturday, May 19 at the public works building at the Municipal Complex. Ms. Leck explained that those wishing to dispose of electronics would drive into the public works parking lot, drive around the building to the front, where employees would take items to be disposed directly from cars. Acceptable items are computers and monitors, small office copiers and printers, TV’s, radios, stereos, VCRs and DVD players, cell phones and cameras. No hazardous waste, loose batteries, florescent lights or electric appliances would be accepted.

Ms. Leck said that she has already worked out details for the collection with the Township Manager, Public Works Director and Police Chief. The event is open to residents only. Because this is the first such collection sponsored by Leck, she is reluctant to do widespread publicity, but is asking the EAC for support. She asked to place the flyer and information on the Township Web site and television station and asked the EAC to spread the word through the community through their contacts, but she did not want to issue a press release or place ads in newspapers. If this event is successful, it would be expanded in the fall.

In response to questions from the members, Ms. Leck said that this event is free for residents with household electronics to be disposed of. Business waste would be collected at business locations and there is a charge for pick-up.

The members thanked Ms. Leck for the information she provided and agreed to help spread the word on a small scale among their friends and neighbors and contacts in the community.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition: Ms. Fitzpatrick reported that PennDOT has agreed to postpone repairs to the Centre Avenue bridge indefinitely in response to objections to the plan from various concerned community groups including the Coalition.

Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that he spoke to the Commission about allowing EAC input when trees are to be replanted as part of land development. The PC agreed to consider this suggestion. The Township engineer is updating information for residents on the recently amended stormwater ordinance. Once completed it can be included in a pamphlet from the EAC for residents planning projects which involve increased impervious surface.

Bird Town: Ms. Thomas reported that she and Ms. Fitzpatrick attended the Bird Town landscaping training. A second class is upcoming. They received a book with a computer program which can be shared with residents interested in planning bird friendly gardens.

Park and Recreation Board: The recording secretary reported that the skinned field at Veterans Park will be opened for use by Little League this spring. Newtown residents Natalie and Jason Cohen have raised over $47,000 for a playground in Veterans Park to be dedicated to the memory of their son, Noah. The Park and Rec Board is preparing a grant application to match the funds from the County Municipal Open Space Program.

Quarterly Forums

Shannon Escalante sent an e-mail in advance of the meeting summarizing the March 3, 2012 forum, which had about 25 attendees. The event focused on environmentally friendly volunteering opportunities and featured presentations by DCNR, Newtown Creek Coalition and Tree Tenders.

Ms. Escalante suggested that the next forum, on June 2, focus on gardening, with presentations on organic gardening, composting, native plantings and landscaping. She suggested inviting Steve Saphir from the Audubon Society to speak about Bird Town. She also suggested that perhaps some Boy Scouts would be interested in participating or sharing their knowledge.

Public Comment

Mr. Korn said that he is eager to become a member of the EAC and participate in the events planned. He would send his letter of interest and resume to the recording secretary to be circulated among the Supervisors.

The members were supportive of Mr. Korn’s appointment to the EAC.

Member Comments

Ms. Fitzpatrick said that she recently attended a lecture by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about protecting the environment. She shared a copy of his speech with the members.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary