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Ambler Main Street Green Committee
Meeting Minutes: November 17, 2008

Highlights:
Commercial Recycling Project
Website Updates and Virtual Committee Participation
Bike Racks
Gold Star (and Green Ribbon) Business Awards - Verde
EAC Interaction

Ron:
1) We are working on welcome packs for new arrivals (residential and commercial) to Ambler, PA. Both will offer information on waste disposal, recycling and green practices.

Ron, David W., Susan C. and Daniel:
2) Ron is in conversation with Mascaro about commercial recycling and dumpsters. Susan is talking with Allied Waste. David assisted with contact information and updates on businesses entering and exiting the borough. Ron also updated the committee on the status of several of the large commercial real estate parcels in the borough (ACME, Knopf, Mobil).

3) Our plan is to have three to six strategically located recycling dumpsters for communal commercial usage. Next, we need to gauge business participation. Also determine which hauler will give us the cheapest deal in exchange for good will and the commodities rebates. Susan and Daniel to attend next Ambler Businesses meeting Thursday at 6:00 at Flower Pot.

4) We shall look at borough tax plots for commercial property locations and color code for their current recycling practices.

5) The Green Committee will locate 4-5 clear stream recycling stands on the streets. (see http://philanet.com/green/clearstream.html ) In addition, businesses that don't generate enough recyclables to require a dumpster will be encouraged to purchase their own clear stream stand. They can dispose of the recyclables bags when full at one of the communal dumpsters. Food businesses (with lots of retail foot traffic, such as, Ambler Pizza, Five Points Grille, Cafe Tea, Toto’s, Touch of the Old Country, Zina's, Sweet Bytes Internet Café, Candida's Pizza, Volare's Pizza & Restaurant, Giuseppe's Pizza Restaurant, etc.) will be approach as an initial test market.

6) #2,3, 4 and 5 will be analyzed to determine how best to proceed with commercial recycling.

Daniel:
7) Asked for help investigating recycling opportunities at locations with high car traffic stops where drivers tend to dump trash from their cars, like the BP and Shell Stations, Post Office, McDonald's and so on.

Daniel and Wally:
8) website upgrades
a) information on how businesses can be more green / go green including energy policies (conservation, CFL use and end-life responsible disposal, lights off, energy star appliances, PECO Renewable, etc.) and conservation is started at http://philanet.com/green/going_green.html
b) sustainability information as provided by the U.S. Library of Congress -- http://philanet.com/green/notes/sustainability.html
c) purchasing policies with vendor sources are to be added

9) We will explore additional ways to help committee members and other Interested folks be able to attend and/or contribute in more virtual ways. For instance, prior to this meeting the agenda was emailed out. Those who could not attend the meeting responded to the agenda. Their ideas were then incorporated into the meeting. After the meeting, the minutes are being distributed via email. All are welcome to contribute with additional input. Then, the entirety will be published to the website where an interactive form will be incorporated for further feedback and participation.

Janice, Susan and Daniel:
10) Janice proposed the idea of having bike racks placed through-out the town. -- Post Office, ACME, the train station and other practical locations...(Rita’s/Ambler Theater?) maybe even one or two places along Butler and Main Street. She knows there's space on the corner of Spring Garden and Butler - if we could convince the new owners that it would be beneficial for them. (Seeing as they have very limited parking - they might like the idea.) The library already has one.

She proposed bike racks not only for personal and obvious green issues, but also because some locals who are driving just a few blocks into town... for whatever reason... might be more encouraged to ride a bike. Therefore, they'd free up parking spots for shoppers/restaurant goers that drive in from out of town. As we all know, parking can be an issue. In the long run, this would benefit all the stores in town.

Susan and Daniel:
11) Gold Star (and Green Ribbon) Business Awards. A program to highlight outstanding local businesses that execute some earth-friendly practices was initiated. Potential publicity: Home Town News, Ambler Main Street Web, our web, Ambler Gazette article.

Susan met with --
Julie Novak Stafford, Owner of Verde Home Store and Design Studio
11 East Butler Avenue
Ambler, PA 19002

Verde is Italian for "green"
All the products that Julie offers have an earth-friendly quality to them.
Examples include: art produced on recycled canvas, furniture made from recycled materials, antiques that are reused furniture, and linens made from bamboo. "Thank you" cards and paper bags for purchases made from recycled and recyclable paper and embedded with wildflower seeds. Instead of throwing the card in the trash, you can bury it in your backyard. The card will bio-degrade and flowers will sprout. Paints used on the walls were non volatile paints. All the art, photography, ceramics and jewelry come from local artists and have a nature theme.


The Ambler EAC also met on November 17, 2008
Following are notes relevant to the Green Committee's interaction with the EAC

Susan:
A) A CFL light bulb recycling program was initiated. Several pre-paid mailers for hazardous waste have been purchased. They will likely be located in Deck's, Denny Electric and the Borough Building. However, because of the exorbitant pricing, it is unlikely the program will continue past this initial test.

Sigi:
B) Sigi handed out a draft proposal for a "plastic bag free Ambler." The costs of plastic bag usage and the benefits of reducing plastic bag usage were highlighted. Feedback on the initiative was solicited.

David M., Andrew, Brooke, Susan J., Susan C. and Daniel:
C) Discussion of "Promoting the 12 Step Carbon Diet Program" Recently a school student wrote the Mayor of Ambler about our participation in the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement (see http://philanet.com/green/climate_protection.html )

The borough is attempting to fulfill all 12 items. Number 12 is -- Help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution. So, we are making an extra effort to fulfill this item by adding educational items to the website, such as, http://philanet.com/green/education.html.

Please contact us with any additions or suggestions.