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2021 is the Year of Rethinking Food Waste! 

Jersey City is excited to focus this year on rethinking how we approach food waste in our community and how we can reduce wasted food through prevention messaging, rescuing surplus food, and recycling food scraps by composting. We will be highlighting food waste educational materials and strategies that align with the waste goals that are a part of the upcoming Climate and Energy Action Plan draft. The strategies will also complement the City’s Residential Compost Drop-Off Program and Backyard Composting Program. Find out more about how to reduce food waste here.

The City will be supported in this work by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Through its Food Matters Mid-Atlantic Regional Initiative NRDC is providing technical assistance for the development of food waste strategies to the cities of Jersey City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. These strategies will help bolster their broader food systems, sustainability, and climate goals. More information on this regional initiative can be found on NRDC’s Food Matters Regional Initiative blog post.

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2020 was the Year of Climate Action! 

Jersey City is creating its very first Climate Action Plan to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In order to engage the public in this process and to raise awareness about climate issues, Jersey City made 2020 the Year of Climate Action.

Projects for the Year of Climate Action included:

  • Climate Action Planning
  • Community Meetings
  • Climate Action surveys
  • Educational resources on climate issues in Jersey City and New Jersey
  • A partnership with the Jersey City Public Schools on a Sustainability STEAM Challenge that asked all public school students grades K-12 to take action against climate change.
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2019 was the Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods! 

The Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods was an effort to connect residents to community initiatives that foster sustainability at the neighborhood scale. Projects for the Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods included:

  • A partnership with the Jersey City Public Schools on a Sustainability STEAM Challenge that asks all public school students grades K-12 to identify ways to make their community more sustainable through science and art,
  • A themed art show at City Hall in May in collaboration with the Office of Cultural Affairs,
  • Educational presentations on the upcoming bag ban and reusable bag give-away events,
  • Resources on ways residents can make their neighborhoods more sustainable, and
  • Community meetings to gain feedback from residents about sustainability needs and goals in their neighborhoods.

The featured initiative of the Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods was a collaboration between the Jersey City Public Schools Curriculum and Instruction Department and the Jersey City Office of Sustainability on a Sustainability STEAM Challenge with Problem-based learning (PBL) that used Science and Visual Arts to address environmental challenges. This citywide initiative was offered to all students Grades K-12. Student teams in Grades 3-12 were challenged to identify and present solutions to sustainability-related issues they identified in their own neighborhoods. K-2 classrooms also participated in the challenge by learning about the issues related to single-use plastic bags and designing reusable bags or artwork for reusable bags. More information on the Sustainability STEAM Challenge can be found at https://sustainablesteamjc.org.

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The City of Jersey City declared 2018 its Year of Energy, a city-wide, cross-sector and cross-departmental effort managed by the Office of Sustainability. Over the course of the year there were a number of different initiatives at both the municipal and community level, including:

  • Establishing a baseline understanding of municipal and city-wide energy usage. Read the City’s first-ever greenhouse gas inventory here.
  • Beginning the ESIP process to conduct energy efficiency upgrades to municipal buildings
  • Distributing energy efficient LED bulbs to residents (these bulbs were generously donated by Philips Lighting).
  • Working to make the municipal fleet more energy efficient through the incorporation of electric vehicles, fleet management software, and car-sharing technologies.
  • Increasing the use of renewable energy for municipal buildings through the installation of solar panels and renewable energy procurement.
  • Creating and distributing materials to the community about energy issues and existing energy efficiency programs and opportunities. Check out our new education pages below!

Throughout the Year of Energy the Office of Sustainability also worked with other City departments and community groups to identify opportunities for future community-level energy initiatives.

2 0 1 7 - W A T E R

In an effort to reduce local flooding and limit pollution of of waterways, Jersey City made 2017 the ‘Year of Water’.

The ‘Year of Water’ was a year-long storm water management initiative that focused on:
1) education and awareness; 2) community action; and 3) building a sustainable foundation for storm water management projects.

Among those activities were:

  • Sustainability Hackathon
  • Imagine a Day Without Water
  • Green Infrastructure demonstration projects
  • Adopt a Catch Basin
  • City Hall Urban Water Sustainability Science Fair
  • Encouraging Citizen Forestry

Other initiatives related to the Year of Water effort included the creation of resiliency planning documents, the introduction of a revised tree ordinance and landscaping requirements, and the development of city-wide forestry standards. Going forward, the Office of Sustainability and its partners will continue working to ensure that green infrastructure is included in future development and to ensure the City’s water infrastructure is prepared to meet residents’ needs for decades to come. Click on the resource pages and videos below for more information on some of the year’s initiatives.

Stormwater Brochure

The Year of Water brochure explains stormwater issues in Jersey City and offers tips on how residents can help

What is GI?

Find out what green infrastructure (GI) is and why it matters

Where Does Our Water Come From?

This handy infographic explains where JC's water comes from and where it goes

What is a Combined Sewer System?

Learn about JC's combined sewer system and what it means for you

Resilient Design Handbook

Get guidance on green infrastructure and resilient design strategies you can apply to your home