February 7, 2018
Town Hall, Lower Meeting Room
26 Bryant Street, Dedham, MA 02026
7:00 pm - ?
Board/Committee members in attendance
Virginia LeClair, Emily Walton, Chuck Kabat, Matt Simonson, Deb Harrison, Leigh Hafrey, John Gorham
*This item is included to acknowledge that there may be matters not reasonably anticipated by the Chair that could be raised during the Public Comment period by other members of the Committee, by staff or others.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
Minutes from the last meeting were accepted.
The previous meeting’s minutes were reviewed and approved.
Update on Compact of Mayors and Olin Student Project Discussion
On March 1st, 2018 a presentation will be made to the Board of Selectmen about the Compact of Mayors. Jim Kern has approved it but wants to provide the Board information about the compact before going public.
The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the future impacts of climate change.
Ms. LeClair will be meeting with Olin student to review a project they are doing for the town. Olin students will be working on the project until May.
UNH student applications for summer internships are due next Wednesday, February 14th.
Plastic Bag Ban Outreach
The State House will be voting on a statewide ban on plastic bags in July.
A question was raised regarding whether Dedham should still move forward with their plans to implement a ban – in case the state legislation doesn’t pass.
Consensus seems to be that Dedham should move forward since either way there will need to be an education campaign involved.
Of 16 comparable communities to Dedham only Winchester and Westwood are considering bans in the near future.
Ms. Leclair talked with Framingham and Brookline and tried to talk with Natick to find out how they went about their ban.
Framingham/Brookline gave tips for public relations and challenges:
- Do a campaign, build a coalition, reach out to town meeting reps, stay on the positive, don’t get in the negative.
- Biggest issues they had were with the Chamber of Commerce. A lot of the big grocery stores are already doing this and are okay.
- Brookline did not force the Mom and Pop stores to comply if they are under a particular sq. footage.
- Styrofoam ban universal to all businesses
- Brookline hired a PT enforcement officer. This would be good because our Board of Health is strapped for time. There may be a DEP grant to cover the salary for the first year. Their person does outreach, they work 18 hrs – none benefited, and paid approx. $31/hour.
Next steps for the ban include setting guidelines and a policy.
-review policies from other towns
-design educational campaign
The proposed ban would have to go to Town Meeting for Approval. The Board of Selectmen would also need to approve it, as they have to approve all warrant articles.
There was a question about whether the monthly meetings are enough to cover everything that needs to be done. It was agreed that the monthly meetings are not enough but a subcommittee is not set up at this meeting.
Goals will be reviewed at the March 1st Board of Selectmen meeting. It was noted that the Sustainability Committee is an advisory committee, and needs to work with other partners/committees who have jurisdiction over the goals.
Goal 1: 1. Research support and promote ways to green Providence Highway (Rt 1) such as:
· Increase the tree canopy and plantings in commercial areas
· Install solar on big box stores
Next step is to find out whose hands it is in: MassDOT? Paul McMurtry?
Goal 2: Climate Action Plan -- Update the existing Climate Action Plan and Energy Plan collaborating with Town officials
Goal 3: Education and Outreach
· Carbon Footprint Challenge
· Home Energy Efficiency
· Continue to reach out to schools
· Create an online recycling directory
There was discussion of the fact that one member of the committee is supposed to be a high school student, but currently that is not the case. Should we change it to an internship for a college aged student instead? Or make it a “community service” option to make it more appealing?
There is no green team or recycling team at any of the schools. The kids really need help with this. Food service director and custodians are completely frustrated. They need education for the students around this issue.
Ms.LeClair reached out to Hingham about this and they apparently pay a stipend to their faculty/green team manager.
Goal 4: Environmental Checklist - Develop an Environmental Checklist for the Planning Board that would be available for developers and commercial properties seeking zoning relief
Goal 5: Recycling and Waste Reduction
· Polystyrene ban
· Plastic Bag Ban
· Recycling Education and Outreach
· Continue Bi-annual Recycling Collection Days
· Collaborate with Town on plans for the Transfer Station
Recycling programs at the schools have imploded. Custodians and Dining Manager are frustrated. There are no “green teams” or environmental clubs or organized effort to keep the materials collected uncontaminated and so it is all becoming trash.
Contamination in general is causing problems with recycling across the board.
Need: educational effort at the schools.
Mr. Kabat suggested that Ms. Leclair do some outreach and become more involved and known at the schools.
Goal 6: Municipal Buildings – Develop a Green Building Policy
· All new municipal construction should meet LEED Silver requirements at a minimum. Create a Green Building Policy that defines this goal.
· All major municipal renovations should meet LEED Silver requirements at a minimum. Create a Green Building Policy that defines this goal.
Goal 7: Green Business Certificate Program -- Recognize Dedham Square Businesses that make significant environmental changes to their businesses by conserving water, reducing waste, improving energy efficiency and purchasing products that are environmentally friendly.
Goal 8: Dedham Heritage Rail Trail
· Continued support for the project
· Continued support for safe routes to schools
Mr. Kabat asked that the committee to remove this goal (support of the Rail Trail project) because it is too controversial and that the trail goes too near a school.
Ms. Walton counters that she felt it would allow a safe way to get to schools and that any of the goals on their list could become controversial once they actually try to enact them.
Ms. Leclair explained that the schools are in talks about the trail and are signaling an interest in a traffic study that would happen as part of that process to help fix the traffic flow issues.
Goal 9: Transportation Improvements -- Continued support and advocacy for bike routes/pedestrian improvements as outlined in the Dedham/Westwood Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
In general, consensus seems to be that the Sustainability Committee needs to make itself better known to have more impact.
Consensus is not reached as to keep all the goals as they currently appear. A suggestion was made by Ms. Leclair to take a vote at a future meeting on the rail trail remaining in the list.
Notes taken by Georganna Woods
Keywords: Plastic bag ban, Recycling, Dedham Rail Trail
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