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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Environmental Committee

May 14, 2009

Present: Barbara Silzle, Ellen Lustgarten, Joe Urban, Craig Totaro
Guests: David Bennett, Elliot Borgman (members of the committee’s Resource Network)


  • Hoffman Park. There are many public activities at the various locations in the park, including Boys & Girls Club games at the fields. The Committee agreed that a large, permanent recycling can will be purchased in time for the summer season and placed near the concession stand/pavilion. The funds will come from the DEP Recycling grant; over $6,000 is remaining for borough recycling and education efforts. The committee agreed to hold off on a can for the basketball/tennis/2nd field area at this time; perhaps one could be added later if demand required.
  • Ardmore Ave ball fields. The Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club summer program heavily uses these two ball fields that are owned by the William Penn School District. Residents have asked, and demand is great for the collection of cans and plastic water bottles. The committee will pursue a cooperative agreement with the school district, such as the school district providing the cans and the borough picking up the recycling, as it does the paper. Craig will contact and work with the school district to find a solution.
  • Businesses. A couple ideas involving borough collection scenarios were explored to accommodate the small businesses recycling. The committee agreed not to pursue these at this time. The committee will more ahead with enforcing the state law and borough ordinance that require all businesses to recycle, focusing on the large businesses that generate large quantities of recyclables (glass, cans, paper, cardboard) that are not recycling.
  • Apartments. A list of all apartments with units 7+ (those that do not pay borough trash fees and are required to have their recycling and trash handled by haulers) is being compiled and will be checked against the 2008 recycling report. When all the data is compiled, enforcement will begin.
  • Glass. The committee decided to maintain the single-stream recycling program and not to separate out glass items even though there isn’t a market for glass at this time. Reasons include: Lansdowne ordinance requires glass recycling, the residents are used to the single-stream program, and adjusting the recycling program to the commodities market isn’t practical.

The committee reviewed a draft resolution to join ICLEI and participate in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign. Lansdowne would be part of a national group of local governments that are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency, providing local benefits by decreasing air pollution, reducing energy expenditures, and saving money for the borough, its businesses and its residents. The cost of ICLEI membership is $600 annually; the borough will approach The Sierra Club for a 50% grant. As a member, Lansdowne would receive the necessary software and would:

  • Conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast to determine the source and quantity of greenhouse gas emissions in the jurisdiction;
  • Establish a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target;
  • Develop an action plan with both existing and future actions which when implemented will meet the local greenhouse gas reduction target;
  • Implement the action plan; and
  • Monitor and report progress.

By taking actions such as changing the traffic lights to LEDs, the borough could see annual savings of approximately $7,000-$8,000 (electricity, maintenance contract), plus increase eligibility of grants. A summer intern would be engaged to participate in data collection. Elliot Borgman, who introduced this initiative to the committee and who remains actively committed to it, accepted Craig Totaro’s invitation to work with the intern.

The Committee will recommend Council pass the resolution. It will be presented at the June business meeting.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
The Committee will review the resolution endorsing the Agreement and will share it with Mayor Young for her review and consideration.


  • At the request of the borough, numerous plastic kiosks with free advertising publications that were along Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues have been removed. They were an eyesore and often depositories of trash.
  • Earth Saturday June 6 at the Farmers Market. The committee will have a table and handout information on the borough’s recycling and environmental programs and policies.
  • Accurate Recycling will withdraw their DEP application related to a new Union Avenue site to process new construction waste.
  • Penn Wood Global Warming Conference 5-30-09; all are invited.
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