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July 17, 2013

Why Hoboken needs more trees! And how to get them planted

Filed under: Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 4:35 PM

Why Hoboken needs more trees! And how to get them planted….

This message was sent from the Committee for a Green Hoboken….

Committee for Green Hoboken Trees

Walking around Hoboken the past week’s heat wave, shade has been on all of our minds, so we decided to take some temperature measurements. The attached infrared camera scans show a typical 25 F temperature difference between the same sidewalk in direct sun versus shaded by a tree. Planting trees gives makes walking around the city much more tolerable, why also lowering summer cooling costs.

A typical street tree installation costs approximately $200 and takes only a few hours. Hobokenites can download a free permit application here:

If you’d like to have a tree planted on your block, please contact the Hoboken Shade Tree Commission: (201) 420-2015 or jtricarico@hobokennj.org

The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken’s website is http://www.qlchoboken.org

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June 6, 2013

Letter to the Editor – Committee for a Green Hoboken on Porous Pavement

Filed under: Green Hoboken,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 10:30 AM

The Committee for a Green Hoboken has their proposal for porous paving material to help alleviate flooding and reduce overall costs of maintaining our streets in Hoboken. Below is their open letter advocating for that street paving material and is worthy of consideration on TheBoken.com….

An open letter to the residents of Hoboken:

What is the purpose of the street cleaners in Hoboken? What is the end result we want to achieve? And are we achieving that goal?

If the goal is to leave the streets looking pristine, we are not achieving that goal. Every week, the street sweeper machines drive up and down our roads and leave a trail of debris in their wake. Along the way, they leave a $45 ticket on every car hat was mistakenly left in place, or frankly had no where else to park.

I am not suggesting we put an end to street cleaning, it’s rules, regulations, and associated fines. I am suggesting we take a holistic, cost saving approach to solving some of Hoboken’s issues, in this case keeping our streets clean while alleviating flooding. The answer is porous road pavement. Our current roads are paved and repaved on a regular asis using impervious (aka non-porous) asphalt, which forces storm water to run off the roads into our overburdened sewer system. By replacing impervious asphalt with pervious asphalt or concrete, the storm water will percolate into the soil below, and take the burden off the 100+ year old sewers and our sewage treatment plants. We have approximately 1.2 square miles of land surface in Hoboken, of which approximately 0.2 square miles is road surface. Porous pavement would absorb 17% of the water falling on Hoboken during all storm events. We would avoid using the porous material where the water table may be too close to the surface to prevent seepage from below.

Porous Pavement Example

In order to maintain this new porous material, we will need to outfit or replace our current street sweepers with vacuums and air compressors to keep the porous asphalt clear of dust, dirt, and debris, so water can flow through the road surface. Combining the dual roles of street cleaning and alleviating flooding is a cost effective approach to improving our quality of life. For a model, we can look to the Meadowlands area, where many pervious pavement surfaces have been installed, all meeting the NJDEP’s Best Management Practices for storm-water management quality and quantity regulations. The installation cost for pervious asphalt is between $6 and $10/square foot, versus typical paving, which would be about $5/sf, or $150,000 per block instead of $75,000. The extra cost comes from subgrade material, the underlying stone bed under the pavement, as opposed to typical dense graded aggregate, but in the long run, we will reduce the impact on our city budget of cleaning up after frequent storm-water floods.

For more information, please contact The QLC at cgh@qlchoboken.org or visit them  on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GreenHoboken

Thank you,

Tom Chartier, PE, LEED AP
Co-Chairman, QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken

Chairman, Hoboken Chamber of Commerce’s Urban Planning & Sustainability Council
Brad Miller, PE, PP, LEED AP BD+C
Co-Chairman, QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken

Website Link: http://www.qlchoboken.org

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May 9, 2013

Hoboken Flood Mitigation Solutions from QLC Hoboken

Filed under: Flooding,floods,Hoboken — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 12:25 PM
The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken http://www.qlchoboken.org   has sent out his informative email to remind Hoboken resident as to what they can do to help flood mitigation efforts in Hoboken.
Blue Rain Barrell
Well, it’s springtime in Hoboken which means beautiful weather….followed by flooding.  This morning we got a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done.  Attached and below are tips to prevent and deal with flooding at your home and business:

How to prevent and/or contain flooding on your property:

Make sure you have a sump pump installed and tested to ensure it is working properly.

  • For a typical single family to 4-unit building, the pump should be sized for at least 3,600 gallons per hour.
  • Consider a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.

Make sure you have a spare, portable sump pump on hand for when flooding does occur.

  • 3,600 gallon per hour pumps are available at most local hardware & plumbing stores, Home Depot, Lowes and Grainger for approximately $150.00.
  • Be sure to include a hose and an electrical extension cord for an additional $20.00.

Important Note: Do not leave the electrical connection outdoors, submerged in water or exposed to moisture.

Install a back flow preventer (aka check valve) on your sewer line before it enters your building.

  • Cast Iron is recommend and available from most local plumbing supply stores, Home Depot, Lowes and Grainger for approximately $199.99
  • PVC is lower cost option at approximately $59.99, although not as durable as cast iron.
  • Be sure to use a licensed plumber and have the plumber obtain the necessary permit from the Hoboken Construction Office, located on the ground floor of city hall.  Including permits, installation should cost approximately $300.00 to $550.00 above the cost of the device, but is well worth the investment.

A cleanout access door must be installed adjacent to the backflow preventer and checked at least everything three (3) months to prevent blockages (i.e. toilet papers and other debris).

Have sand bags (aka tube sand, mason sand, etc.) on hand and ready to create a flood barrier around your property.  Sand bags are available at Home Depot and Lowes for approximately $3.99 per 50 pound bag.

  • Be sure not to located sand bag barriers against doors which are used as a means of egress.

Have removable flood gates on hand, preferably installed prior to the storm, to prevent floor waters from infiltrating your property.

  • Gates can be ordered from local door & hardware stores, starting at approximately $250.
  • Be sure not to block means of egress from the building.

Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.  In basements, consider installing electrical equipment 48” above the floor.

Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches from your home’s projected flood elevation.

Replace existing concrete in front of your building by installing a tree pit.  The pit will allow storm water to be naturally absorbed by the soil and tree, and remove ease the burden on the sewer system.

  • Total cost should be approximately $350 to $500 using a local, professional landscaper.
  • The pit should be 5’ x 5’ and no less than 3’ x 3’ to allow the tree roots to establish and grow, but must still allow a 3’ to 6’ path for pedestrians.
  • A permit can be obtained by simply faxing or hand delivering the completed one (1) page permit application to the Department of Environmental Services.  A permit is normally granted within 48 hours.
  • Tree permits can be download at: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/board/stc/HPU_Tree_Permit_2011-10.pdf

Install a rain barrel to collect run off from your roof (minimum 50 gallons).  The water can be held until the storm subsides, and/or used later for irrigation.

  • A variety of rain barrels are available at Home Depot, Lowes and online.
  • The prices will range from approximately $50 to $350 depending on size and aesthetic look.
  • Be sure to install a filter to prevent mosquitos from entering the barrel and laying eggs.
  • Adding certain fish, such as goldfish, to open rain barrels will eliminate new mosquito eggs from hatching (the fish eat them) and provides a nice outdoor feature.
  • Also be sure to empty and disconnect your barrel in the winter to prevent damage from freezing.

Install a drywell.

  • Pipe your roof gutter and drainage system to a drywell, which will then overflow to the sewer system.  While the cost is significantly higher than a rain barrel (typically starting at $1,000), a drywell will hold hundreds to thousands of gallons and allow the stormwater to naturally infiltrate the soil.

Minimize water use during intense storms; if the sewer is overflowing the water will not be able to leave your building and will most likely result in a flood.

Install low flow fixtures to reduce the amount of water being added to the overburdened sewer system, for example:

  • Dual flush toilets, or toilets with a maximum flow rate of 1.28 gallons per flush.
  • Bathroom faucets with 0.5 gallon per minute aerator.
  • Kitchen faucets with maximum 1.5 gallon per minute
  • Showerheads with a maximum 1.75 gallons per minute.
  • EnergyStar rated and/or front loading washing machines.
  • EnergsStar rated dishwashers.

Replace your sidewalk and driveways with pervious pavement, which allows water to infiltrate naturally into the soil below.

  • The approximate cost will be between $6 and $25 per square foot, depending on product type and aesthetics.
  • There are lower cost options available such as Grasspaver® and Driveable Grass® which can be planted to add a splash of color; the vegetation will also provide a cooling effect in the summer.  Be sure to plant low maintenance sedums which do not require cutting and can stand up to foot traffic.

Install a green roof (aka vegetated roof).

  • New construction or renovation projects should include adding minimum of 4” soil and low maintenance sedum to the roof, which will absorb stormwater and slowly evaporate back to the atmosphere.  This not only keeps the rain out of the sewer, but helps insulate your building, prolongs the life of the roof membrane and provides a cooling effect in the summer.
  • Existing buildings should look at lightweight green roof systems, such as GaiaSoil.
  • The installed cost will be approximately $6 to $30 per square foot, depending on soil depth and plant variety.

Install ground level landscaping.

  • Replacing any hardscape (stone, concrete, asphalt, etc) with vegetation and soil will absorb stormwater and ease the burden on the sewer system during intense storms.

When cleaning up after the flood:

  • Be sure to mop up and wash down any affected surfaces using bleach, antimicrobial soap or other disinfectant.
  • Open windows and set up blower fans to accelerate the drying process.
  • Open up any drywalled areas to allow the wall cavities to properly dry out.
  • Any materials that have been wet for more than 24 to 48 hours after the flood are at a high risk of growing mold and should be treated by a mold specialist or discarded.
  • Contact a local Certified Industrial Hygeniest to test the air and surfaces for E. Coli, mold and other dangerous pathogens.
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November 29, 2011

QLC’s Green Drink Happy Hour at Maxwell’s November 30th at 6:30pm

Filed under: Drink Specials,Green Hoboken,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 10:00 AM

The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken http://www.qlchoboken.org  will be meeting and having their monthly green drinks event at Maxwell’s on November 30th starting at 6:30pm. There will be drink specials and the event is scheduled to run through until at least 9pm.

Hoboken QLC Green Drinks

Event: The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken Green Drinks Happy Hour

Place: Maxwell’s at 1039 Washington Street Hoboken,NJ

Date and Time: 6:30pm – 9pm

 

Maxwell's Hoboken

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June 9, 2011

Green Hoboken on Hoboken’s New Single Stream Recycling Plan

Filed under: Green Hoboken,Hoboken — Tags: , , — TheBoken @ 5:50 PM

TheBoken Received this note from Tom Chartier on Hoboken’s New Single Stream Recycling Plan. Read on…..

Dear Editor:

Hoboken recently changed to a single stream recycling program.  The main benefits of this new program are:

1. Plastics labelled 1 through 7 are now accepted.
2. Recyclables can now be mixed together in the same bin, allowing for pickup twice per week for all recyclables on Tuesday and Thursday.
3. The city’s fees for waste hauling are reduced and annual revenue from recycling is increased.
4. Significantly less material will end up in a landfill.

The anticipated annual revenue from recycling in Hoboken is approximately $200,000.  The new recycling flyer provides guidelines which must be followed and is available at www.hobokennj.org/departments/environmental-services/recycling-garbage.

By following the guidelines on the flyer, this annual revenue can be increased; by not following the guidelines, such as including plastic bags, revenue is reduced by 30% or more.  To help ease our transition, please take note of the following:

- All recyclables should be placed directly in a bin, NOT in plastic bags.  This also means NO plastic bags of any kind.  Several local supermarkets and grocers have bins near their entrances and exits for recycling plastic bags.
- Residents, condo boards and management companies can request a meeting with the Department of Environmental Services to discuss the new program and voice any concerns by emailing dcalamoneri@hobokennj.org.
- Blue recycling bins are available for free at the Department of Environmental Services, located in the municipal garage on Willow Avenue, at the corner of Observer Highway.  Please bring proof of residency to obtain your free bin(s).
- Failure to follow the guidelines will eventually result in a monetary fine.  The city is currently providing a grace period for the next couple months, during which fines will be waived.

The QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken is working with the City to promote awareness of the new program and help with education and outreach to make this new program a success and work out any kinks.  Please feel free to contact us at: cgh@qlchoboken.org

Thank you,

Tom Chartier
Chairman, QLC’s Committee for a Green Hoboken

Flier:

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May 31, 2011

Reminder NJ Transit Redevelopment Plan – First Community Meeting is Tonight

From a “Committee for a Green Hoboken” ….

Reminder NJ Transit Redevelopment Plan – First Community Meeting is Tonight

Good morning, just a reminder that tonight is the first community meeting with Hoboken’s planning firm regarding the redevelopment plan for the NJ Transit rail yards. Please show up to provide your comments and concerns.

Time: 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Location: Rue Building Auditorium, 301 Garden Street, Hoboken, 07030

The description of the meeting from the City of Hoboken  is below:

“The City of Hoboken is working to produce the Redevelopment Plan for Hoboken Terminal and Rail Yards property. A two phase redevelopment plan, which will reflect the vision and needs of the community, is underway. Phase I of the Redevelopment Plan will be prepared first, focusing on the 1.8 acre portion along Hudson Place – One Hudson Place. The plan for Phase 2 of the plan will include the remaining portion of the 52 acre Hoboken Terminal and Yards.

This is an invitation to participate in a conversation about Phase 1 and Phase 2 Redevelopment Plan and this important site within the City.”

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April 18, 2011

Hoboken Announces “Adopt a Garden” Program for Local Schools

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 2:35 PM

The latest from the City of Hoboken….

HOBOKEN ANNOUNCES “ADOPT A GARDEN” PROGRAM FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

Green Space behind City Hall to See Gardens Grow in Spring and Summer 2011

 Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined school children from Elysian Charter School to kick off the “Adopt a Garden” program. The urban gardening initiative involves the creation of four new garden plots on Bloomfield Street behind City Hall which can be adopted by local schools

 ”I hope this represents just the beginning of the growth of urban community gardening in Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This is an important component of being a sustainable city that can beautify neighborhoods, improve nutrition, and even help reduce storm water runoff and mitigate flooding.”

 ”These new garden plots are gifts to our children,” said Angela Dunckley, a Kindergarten teacher at Elysian Charter School. “Like many gifts they will also give to all of us as they grow and sprout fruits and flowers in the coming growing season. We’re excited to see what everyone comes up with.”

This urban gardening initiative is like thousands of others that have sprung up all across the country in the last few years.  Some were seeded by necessity, as millions of people threatened economically by the recession took up cultivating their own food. Others, such as those on the White House lawn or just starting in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan have great symbolic value, as people of every age and background are seeking to reconnect with the Earth.

Hoboken’s initiative will offer a garden plot to any interested local school. The plots are 10 feet by 10 feet, and the City has offered to build a raised bed, lay a protective membrane above the existing soil, and bring in a limited amount of clean topsoil to help the gardens grow. This opportunity is open to all schools within the City of Hoboken. An application form for schools seeking to adopt a garden is available on the City website at www.hobokennj.org/docs/humanserv/Adopt-a-Garden.doc.

As part of the Earth Day announcement, Mayor Zimmer stated that the City would install up to 6 rain barrels behind City Hall to catch the runoff from the City Hall roof. 

“These 6 barrels are just a drop in the bucket to solving our flooding problem here in Hoboken, but as we all know every step to reduce runoff helps solve the greater flooding problem,” added Mayor Zimmer. “Plus, this reclaimed water will be critical for helping these gardens survive the summer heat and potential droughts we might face.”

The Hudson County Improvement Authority is offering discounted rain barrels and compost bins to residents on April 30th. For more information visit: http://www.hcia.org/docs/Compost_Bin_Rain_Barrel_Flyer.pdf

 Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-announces-adopt-a-garden-program-for-local-schools/

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March 22, 2011

QLC and Committee for a Green Hoboken First Annual Fundraiser March 31st 7PM at Room 84

Filed under: drink,Drink Specials,fundraiser,Green Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 9:00 AM

QLC and Committee for a Green Hoboken are having their first annual fundraiser March 31st 7PM at Room 84, 84 Washington Street, Hoboken NJ. RSVP to Frances Jennings at frances.jennings@gmail.com no later than March 24th.

QLC Funraiser

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March 15, 2011

QLC and Committee for a Green Hoboken First Annual Fundraiser March 31st 7PM at Room 84

Filed under: fundraiser — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 2:00 PM

QLC and Committee for a Green Hoboken are having their first annual fundraiser March 31st 7PM at Room 84, 84 Washington Street, Hoboken NJ. RSVP to Frances Jennings at frances.jennings@gmail.com no later than March 24th. 

QLC Funraiser

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