Keziah Groth-Tuft is a resident of Lambertville and a 2015 Summer Climate Change Intern at Dickinson College. Keziah completed her Summer Internship in the City of Lambertville working with various Boards and Commissions on ways to reduce your carbon footprint. She also completed a study outlining greehouse gas emissions by activity of the City of Lambertville.
The final report was given at the Regularly scheduled City Council meeting held on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.
"The greenhouse gas inventory completed this summer covers the 2014 emissions of the city electrical accounts including facilities and street lights, facility heating, solid waste removal, and the waste water treatment process. The report goes into significant detail regarding the methodology for the inventory but for now I will give an overview of my findings and recommendations for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the future. Our solid waste removal system is responsible for 92% of the city governments greenhouse gas emissions, although this is somewhat misleading as this covers the waste produced by the entire city instead of just government operations. After solid waste removal, the waste water treatment process and general electricity usage is responsible for 3% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions each. Lastly, heating oil for facilities and the fuel used by the city's vehicles (the solid waste and public works trucks, as well as police cars).
The "biggest bang for our buck" that we could tackle in decreasing our greenhouse gas footprint in the future would be to further cut down the solid waste emissions. Already, we avoid landfill emissions by using a waste-to-energy incinerating facility and have cut our trash in half with the single-stream recycling program. If Lambertville further expanded the pilot "third-can" composting program, the city government could cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. Other options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that we should look into would be further converting heating oil facilities to natural gas, switching to a Clean Power Choice provider under JCP&L, and gradual transitions to more fuel-efficient and green-powered vehicles. This greenhouse gas emissions inventory is the first step in the Climate Action Framework program in the EPA. Should Lambertville expand on its involvement in this program, it could be another focal point for our Sustainable Jersey work as well as open the door to new networks and funding opportunities for green and climate neutral programs in Lambertville. The next steps for this program would be to adopt and carry out some of the suggestions listed here as well as any new ones in the aim to reduce the city of Lambertville's greenhouse gas emissions."
Click here to review the full report.