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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Environmental Committee

April 22, 2009

Attendees: Ellen Lustgarten, Barbara Silzle, Joe Urban
Guests: Sherry Spinnraker, chair of Recreation & Park board; Mary Lou Jennings, chair of Tree Advisory board
Visitor: David Bennett (member of Committee’s resource network)

Board chair guests.

  • Mary Lou reported that more borough-wide education about the value of trees is needed; she’s putting together info to give to the Committee to help with this effort.
  • They weren’t able to give away to residents all of the 50 trees that were recently available for free from Tree Vitalize. The remainder went into parks. Lansdowne is only 18% shade cover; (86% in town have reached maturity). East Lansdowne 26%. Sherry invited Mary Lou to talk about trees at Park Day on September 19th (before the next planting of trees are here for Baltimore Pike) to recruit volunteers and begin a waiting list for the next round of trees that will be available to residents.
  • Sherry brought up the issue of expenditure authority, such as capital reserve and regular maintenance expense; council’s role in approving expenses. Apparently there was an earlier meeting among council, staff and Sherry that resolved the issue.
  • Sherry is going to generate a mid-year 2009 report on the actual and estimated remaining expenses for each park and will present that to council.
  • Mary Lou and Sherry will continue to meet with the Committee on a quarterly basis.

Shade Tree Ordinance. Goal is to increase the amount of shade provided by trees; the ordinance would deal with trees on private properties that provide shade to sidewalks and streets. Media and Springfield have one; Swarthmore does not. The committee will explore other versions and work on developing an ordinance to bring before council. (An earlier version was not met favorably by council.)


  • Recycling of paper at the Ardmore Avenue School has begun; picked up by the borough’s Public Works crew on the regular recycling route for that area.
  • Committee reviewed the 2008 apt/business hauler report.
  • Fines for non-compliance are being considered. Could be up to $1000; no need to change ordinance.

Earth Saturday at Farmers Market 6/6. Barbara will attend and provide educational information on Lansdowne’s recycling and environmental services.

Yard Waste. Current curb-side program picks up the last Wednesday of each month May-Oct. Mulch-It, where we take it, is closed January-February. The Committee will propose council that we expand the program to March-December.

Multi-Municipal leaf composting. Currently leaves go to county; 2009 Lansdowne will be charged $15.90/ton; 2010 will be $23/ton. This possible alternative is being researched.

  • Marple 17 tons/yr
  • Haverford 35 tons
  • Lansdowne 200 tons

Solar rebates. Pa Sunshine program through DEP will provide rebates of 35% for purchase of solar-powered systems of homes and small businesses. Rebate applications could be available now. Barbara had previously asked Craig to check to make sure that Lansdowne could accommodate folks who would want to install solar systems. Craig has reported back that he spoke with both the codes department and the borough’s solicitor, and has been assured that our codes and ordinances are such that Lansdowne would be ready to accommodate permits, etc. Mr. Urban suggested home energy audits be encouraged by the borough.

Next meeting is Thursday, May 14 @ 7pm.

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