Happy Earth Day from the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board

Happy Earth Day from the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board

The New Castle eNewsletter

Happy Earth Day from the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board

Sustainability Advisory Board LogoIt seems that most of the time when we read about the environment we’re reading bad news. Not in New Castle. While we are a relatively small municipality, we are taking big steps to address environmental concerns and preserve our planet for the next generation – while reducing town, residential, and business costs. More importantly, the leadership New Castle has shown is motivating other municipalities to do the right thing.

Yes, we have significant and critical challenges. 2015 was the Earth’s hottest year since records began in 1880. The CO2 and other greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere are trapping heat and warming the planet. 2016 is expected to be even warmer.

Thanks to the brave leadership of our Town Board and the participation of residents and businesses, New Castle is addressing these challenges. We are becoming a leader in New York State in environmental and fiscal responsibility.

Below are initiatives that the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board has launched in the past 2 years that have saved or are forecasted to save New Castle tens of thousands of metric tons of CO2 and millions of dollars.

Westchester PowerWestchester Power

Forecasted to save over 18,000 metric tons of CO2 annually in New Castle.

New Castle teamed up with 19 other Westchester municipalities to aggregate demand for electricity and then get the least expensive price for a fixed rate per kWh for 24 months. New Castle helped lead this effort in the county and became the first municipality in New York State to have green electricity as our default. Following our example, 13 other municipalities adopted green as their default.Click here for more information.

Solarize

Expected to save over 136 metric tons of CO2 annually in New Castle.

Solarize westchesterThe New Castle SAB competed for and won a coveted spot among Westchester towns to provide our residents and businesses with very high quality and low priced solar installations. Despite living among so many trees, New Castle and our partner, the Town of Somers, achieved some of the best results the Solarize program ever had. We had 30 new residential installations and 2 business installations. The residential installations alone are expected to produce nearly 250,000 kWh of electricity annually! Every time buyers look at their roofs they know they are saving money and the planet.Click here for more information.

Single Stream Recycling

Saved over 200 metric tons of CO2 in 2015 in New Castle.

Recycling logoThe New Castle SAB analyzed the pros and cons of changing to single stream recycling from dual stream where residents had to separate different kinds of recyclables. Our analysis showed significant environmental and financial benefits for the town. We are happy to report that 2015 was a banner year for New Castle recycling as we increased our recycling percentage and recycled nearly 74 more tons of waste than in 2014! Click here for more information.

Sustainable Education

Slingshot movieThe more we know about the challenges we face, the opportunities that exist, and how we can personally make a difference, the more we can preserve our planet for future generations. In the past year, the New Castle SAB continued our program of speakers and movies in partnership with the Chappaqua Library. For example, we recently showed the inspiring movie about Segway and clean water device inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen. We also staffed booths at Community Day, the Farmer’s Market, and other events around town with our knowledgeable team to help answer questions and discuss initiatives. Click here for more information.

Indian Point Initiative

Indian Point Power PlantTown residents have grown increasingly concerned about the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, which resides less than 12 miles from New Castle. Importantly, the plant provides a significant amount of power to Westchester County without the use of fossil fuels. However, many people have questioned the benefit of the power supply when considering the risks associated with a very old facility residing just south of 2 earthquake fault lines, known leaks of the radioactive isotope tritium and the coming high-pressure gas pipeline 105 feet away from the facility.

The SAB is working to obtain information for residents on this important issue. Click here for more information.

LEDs In New Castle (LINC)

The New Castle SAB has begun an initiative to study current streetlights and determine the environmental and financial benefits of converting to LEDs. Our expectation is that we can install quality, modern, warm lights while saving a significant amount of CO2 and money. Assuming the analysis proves the expectation, the SAB will lead an effort to rapidly change the lighting and begin saving.

Reusable Bag Initiative

Reusable BagSingle use plastic and paper bags are poisoning our waters, our food supplies and our atmosphere. The SAB has proposed a new ordinance that will eliminate plastic shopping bags in New Castle, while supermarkets, pharmacies, and a few other categories of businesses will charge a 10-cent fee for paper bags. As with municipalities that have enacted similar legislation around the country, we expect that within months, customers will bring reusable bags to stores, businesses will save money, and New Castle will again lead New York State in responsibly preserving our environment for the next generation. Click here for more information.

The New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board needs your help. To volunteer with us, to just show support for our initiatives, or to ask questions please send an email toSAB@MyNewCastle.org.

 

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