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NEWSLETTER OF GREEN DECADE / NEWTON Over 20 Years of Environmental Leadership 1990 - 2012 VOL.22 - NO. 4 JULY/AUG 2012

Touring Rumford Avenue

On a mostly damp and drizzly day in early May, Newton citizens gathered to hear Elaine Gentile, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Courtney Forrester, Recycling Manager for the City of Newton, lead tours of the composting facility at the Rumford Avenue Resource Recovery Center. The Rumford Center is the site of a former landfill that was discontinued in 1975 and was capped in 1997. Among its many current functions, the Resource Recovery Center serves as a household hazardous waste collection site and a Recycling Depot. It also is a composting facility for leaves collected from city properties and from yard waste gathered curbside in Newton (but not including food waste). More information is available at the website: www.newtonma. gov/gov/dpw/recycling/depot/accepted.asp As we surveyed the Rumford property, we saw pile upon pile of compost arranged in huge rows that marched up the landfill mountain. Elaine called them windrowscompost mounds in various stages of development arranged in what were called floors: first floor, second floor, third floor etc. When the windrows floors reached the top of the mountain, the material was placed in a curing pile for one additional month. Then front-end loaders delivered well-digested compost to a Trommel screening machine to turn out the compost gold. It is then available to Newton residents for free and sold for various projects including roof top gardens in Boston, Harvard University, Alewife Brook Parkway, MBTA, Fenway Park, and organic farms and nurseries to name a few. In the course of our tour of the facility, we received a tutorial from Michael Bleakie from Lions Head Organics, the guru who oversees the development of compost. Good compost depends on good aeration, and adequate moisture for developing the 140 to 150 degrees F. necessary to kill weed seeds and even many herbicides and pesticides. That process provides the microorganisms that turn waste to lifegiving compost the right conditions to thrive. A tablespoon of compost, Bleakie told us, contains about 6 million of these tiny microbes. Other keys to the composting process are the two Allu Buckets in the shape of a steam shovel with mechanical teeth and paddles. They swallow and masticate compost raw material and then spit it back out to hasten the break down process. As a result, Elaine said, what used to take us a year and one half to a year and three quarters before is now taking us about nine months. And we are actually trying to get that down to about 5 months. Just to make the distinction clear, the recyclables and trash

Hang on tight ! Rumford Avenue Resource Recovery Center sights on the tour

that are collected curbside from Newton residences (green for recycle, blue for trash) dont go to Rumford. Trash goes to Wheelabrator Saugus, a waste-to-energy facility located in Saugus, MA. Trash is incinerated and the energy sold on electric grids. Recyclables go to Recycle America in the town of Avon, MA. The day ended with a Home Composting 101 workshop led by our other tour guide of the morning, Courtney Forrester. Held in Newton City Halls War Memorial Auditorium, the Courtney reviewed key concepts for home composting, which small compost containers are available for purchase and described how to build your own composter. The four key conditions for success echoed what we had learned earlier in the day. For good compost you need suitable food: carbon from leaves, straw, salt marsh hay, shredded paper or cardboard and grass clippings, vegetable and fruit wastes for nitrogen. And you need moisture, aeration, and proper shelter. As we ended the evening, Green Decade president, Marcia Cooper, discussed possible new compost initiatives for Newton Schools in collaboration with the Department of Public Works and the Newton School Department. by Ken Mallory

Photographer Ken Mallory


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Eco-Project & City join to promote energy efficiency

Annual environmental leadership award to an organization

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A Community Partnership

The Newton Eco-Project has joined the Mayors Energy Smart initiative to reduce the citys energy usage 20% by the year 2020. The program concentrates on municipal, commercial/institutional and residential uses. The EcoProject coordinates efforts in the residential sector. Through its work with NSTAR we promote the Mass Save program helping Newton residents take advantage of economic incentives. When homeowners complete home assessments and improvements to reduce their energy bills they contribute toward the citys overall energy reduction goals. Soon the Mayor will join us to celebrate surpassing 750 completed energy assessments in Newton. Through our partnership with Next Step Living the Eco-Project helps homeowners schedule free home energy assessments and access the 0% Heat Loan program, subsidies for insulation and rebates on home heating system equipment. We will be at tables at the farmers market, village day fairs, and other community events this summer. Sign up for a free home energy assessment or get information. To schedule an assessment call 866 867-8729 tell them Green Decade sent you. by Jay Walter

Air conditioner maintenance means cool savings

During warm weather months, smart decisions about your homes air conditioning (HVAC) system will help you cut energy costs and reduce climate change. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes the system work harder to keep you warm or cool, so check your filter once a month and if it looks dirty, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A clean filter prevents dust and dirt build up in the system that can cause costly maintenance and system failure. A yearly tune-up of your cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort. If your cooling equipment is more than 10 years old, have it evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Depending on where you live, replacing your old cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $200. But before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed any big air leaks in your house and the duct system. To save energy and money on your air conditioning use a programmable thermostat and turn up the temperature setting to at least 78 degrees or higher. During cooler weather, use the central system fan without the AC coolingthis can provide enough air movement to make you comfortable without the extra energy required to run the AC compressor. Prevent unnecessary heat loss, by removing window air condition units before the cooler weather. For more tips on efficient heating and cooling, visit Mass Save website:

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Katherine Howard, founder of the Newton Tree Conservancy, accepts the Environmental Leadership Award, along with her colleagues Julia Malakie and Penny Caponigro on May 21 at the Newton Free Library, Druker Auditorium.

The Newton Tree Conservancy has formed their nonprofit organization for the purpose of raising money for the preservation and planting of trees in Newton. It was born out of the recognition that the city is not in a position to cover all the costs necessary to maintain our urban forest - the trees along our streets and in our parks and other public areas, and that in order to continue to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of these trees, we must take action to develop initiatives that will supplement what can be supported through the city's budget. The Newton Tree Conservancy seeks to maintain the health of Newtons existing trees, as well as plant and care for many new street trees for the benefit of future generations. Their Mission is to promote the health of Newton's trees through: Funding for planting and care of new trees, as well as preservation pruning and tree maintenance that will supplement - not replace - city funding. Educational programs to build public awareness of the value of trees and the risks of not properly caring for and replacing trees along streets and in parks and other public places and to help people know how to keep their own trees healthy. Training programs and volunteer opportunities to give citizens an opportunity to participate in tree maintenance and planting. We honor The Newton Tree Conservancy for their significant contributions.

Green Decade/Newton Summer Office Hours:

Mon. & Wed. 2-5 pm at 225 Nevada St, Nonantum Our other office at the Newton Farmers Markets! Tues., 1:30-6 pm Cold Spring Park Fri., 12 noon-5 pm VFW Post 440, California St, Nonantum



Annual Green Decade environmental leadership awards to an individual and to a business


Maria Rose works for Newtons Department of Public Works as Stormwater Program Manager and Environmental Engineer. Recently she passed the FEMA exam to become a Certified Floodplain Manager. One of her singular achievements was to help design a stormwater utility Maria Rose accepts Green Decades leaderprogram in Newton, that ship award for an individual on May 21 provides a dedicated and permanent funding source to sustain Newtons sampling programs and its aging stormwater infrastructure. Newton was only the 2nd municipality in the State to put such a utility program in place, which takes the form of a small fee on all water and sewer bills and completely covers her own salary and benefits along with that of several DPW staff who work full time scouring and repairing catch-basin and setting curbs. Green Decade also recognized Marias outreach, educational, and volunteer work. Since 2007 she has been one of the regional coordinators for the annual spring Charles River cleanup, that requires numerous planning meetings with the Charles River Watershed Association and other partners and then recruitment and communications with volunteer groups, among other tasks. In addition, she has designed a variety of school programs about the water cycle and stormwater, and she visits Newton schools to speak to classes several times a year. She also volunteers in her town as a member of the Watertown Conservation Commission and as Chair of the Watertown Stormwater Advisory Committee. Green Decade honored Maria for her professional work, for the teaching she does in our schools, and for her work on behalf of our entire regions civil society and waterways.


Thanks for donations:

(contributions received before June 15)

Meredith Management, Corporations recently approved Fenway Center development is a "Smart Growth," transit and sustainable energy-oriented development that will locate more than 400 residences, offices and neighborhoodoriented retail space directly adjacent to a new Yawkey Commuter Rail Station which will be the state's first solar powered transit station, one block from the John Rosenthal, President, Meredith MBTA's Kenmore Square Management, Corp receives Green Decades leadership award for a business and Fenway Green Line Stations. The Fenway Center mixed-use development has been designed to connect and integrate into the existing Fenway, Kenmore, and Longwood Medical Area neighborhoods by: Fostering the increased use and capacity of public transportation and decreased reliance on private automobiles Providing a bicycle storage and a bicycle share station Strengthening the vitality and quality of life in the neighborhood The five-building complex is designed to be unlike anything now standing in Boston, with solar panels to generate much of its electricity. Meredith has also installed solar panels on their own Bridge Street office in Newton and founded Here Comes the Sun a solar installer, committed to providing solar energy to nonprofits at a lower rate than the grid. They work very closely with two local non-profit organizations founded by their President John Rosenthal: Stop Handgun Violence committed to the prevention of gun violence and Friends of Boston's Homeless which develops and funds innovative, solutionoriented programs to help the homeless move beyond shelter and back into the community as independent citizens. Green Decade thanks Meredith for their significant contributions.

Photographer Ken Mallory

FRIENDS: Mary Adelstein, Ana Zarina Asuaje Solon, Alderman Lisle Baker, Francoise LaMonica, Emily Norton, Ruth Nussbaum, Daphne Petri DONORS: Maria Curcio & Paul Abercrombie PATRONS: Ann & Bob Buxbaum, Elaine Vildzius, Katherine & Ted Gekas, Next Step Living Inc. BENEFACTORS: Hugh Wilkinson, NSTAR MAY 31 CELEBRATION HOST DONATIONS: Dr. Charles Abele & Dr. Melanie Mathies, Audrey Cooper, Margie Ross Decter, Kim & Andy Gluck, Richard & Diana Gomberg, Michael, Karen & Maxwelll Hamilton, Carole & Alan Kushnir, Treff LaFleche, Anne Larner, Louise & Bernard Lown, Melvin & Rohna Shoul, Joanne Taub, Barbara & George Whitesides

Major Discounts on LED Lights for Businesses

If youre responsible for energy costs at a business location, heres a deal for you. MassSave currently offers big discounts on LED light bulbs for business electricity rate payers (not for residential rate payers, sorry). Some bulbs are so heavily subsidized that they cost less than incandescent bulbs, while using much less energy and lasting a lot longer. The net result is big savings for businesses, and a benefit to the environment. Incentives are listed here: http://arlingtonheet. org/home/maxmedia/public_html/arlingtonheet/wpcontent/uploads/2011/12/EFI-mass-save-flyer-2.pdf

Photographer Ken Mallory



Have Map, Bike Newton

Bike Newton published a Newton Bicycle Map in May. Copies are available at any of the 6 Newton bicycle shops, at the library, or you can contact to have one delivered to your home. The comprehensive map details popular destinations throughout all Newtons villages, and estimates the level of difficulty of many major routes. The intent of the map is to encourage riders and potential cyclists to use their bikes to do local errands shop for groceries, go to schools and lessons, and visit friends and neighbors, instead of going by car. Bike Newtons mission is to make Newton a bicyclefriendly city. Were working with various city departments to educate motorists and cyclists that same roads, same rules apply to all Newtons roads. Statistically, increased bicycle ridership attracts motorists attention and makes the roads safer for all users. We also began a safety education program at F A Day Middle School. Do your part - we have weekly free bike valet parking at the Tuesday Farmers Market at Cold Spring Park. Ride your bike and park it at the front entrance while its watched over by Lois Levin, Newtons Bicycle Coordinator/Green Decade Board member and us! Comments? Questions? contact

Students show their green side

Newton South & North High students talk about their green projects at the Newton Library on May 21.

Green Decade at Newton Highlands Village Day June 10

All donations went to the Jimmy Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Bike Valet at Farmers Markets

Starting on Tuesday, July 3, the Farmers Market will be open. Bike Newton will sponsor Free Bicycle Valet Parking, so come by bike and park at the front door! If you or a friend or relative have an hour or two to volunteer to host our booth any Tuesdays between July 3 and Oct 30, call bike newton (617) 527-1239. Monday evening rides are in full swing. Meet at the main library on Homer Street at 5:45 PM, ride to an interesting Newton destination. For more specifics contact

Photographer Margaret Ford

7th Annual Pan Mass Challenge Kids Ride: June 16 (Newton-NeedhamBrookline) Many kids, many bikes, one mission: cure cancer. Nearly 500 children ages 3-16 cycled routes tailored just for them: 9-16 year olds rode the 8 or 17 mile ride from Newton through Needham and Dover. Younger cyclists circled our 0.9 mile Wells Office Park Circuit as many times as they liked within 1 hours, while tykes with trikes were on our Tot Loop, a shorter but just as fun ride. Ride Coordinator Jena Greaser and Green Decade volunteers were there to cheer them on.

Photographer Margaret Ford

Photographer Jena Page Greaser



Mayors prayer breakfast

Barbara & Brooke Celebration

Photographer Ken Mallory Photographer Marcia Cooper
Maciej Konieczny (left), Newtons Sustainability Project Manager and Josh Morse, Director of Operations for the Public Buildings Dept. presented information on the progress to date and proposals for going forward. is to create an environment in better balance with the natural world by making significant, measurable improvements in the way we use resources. Goals include helping households, businesses and institutions to: Increase energy efficiency & seek alternatives to fossil/nuclear fuels; Use IPM and organic alternatives to pesticides; Promote high performance (green) building measures; Prevent pollution through source reduction and reduced consumption; Promote reuse and recycling practices; Improve waste disposal practices; Conserve water and other resources. Our programs are designed to build awarness, promote opportunities for public dialogue and educate and empower citizens to take personal and civic action.

Green Decade board members gather at the Newton Mayors prayer breakfast in May

Photographer Margaret Ford

It was a wonderful evening on May 31, and a good time was had by everyone attending Green Decades Celebration, honoring Barbara Herson and Brooke Lipsitt. Presentations to Barbara and Brooke, who recently retired from their Green Decade Board of Directors and Committee positions included citations for their outstanding community service from Mayor Setti Warren and State Senator Cynthia Creem.

Pedestrian bicycle bridge opens

Energy efficiency will save money for Newton

At GDNs Greening Our Community Series on June 19th, Mayor Setti Warren spoke about the progress the City has made on its commitment to continue to reduce its energy consumption.

Public officials cut the ribbons on the new Lower Falls bike/pedestrian bridge

The Newton Lower Falls pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Newton and Wellesley was officially opened for business on May 8, 2012, nearly a decade after Rep. Kay Kahn initiated efforts to restore the dangerous bridge. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony/celebration were Lt. Governor Tim Murray, Mayor Setti Warren, Senator Cindy Creem, Representative Kay Khan, along with other community leaders and citizens. The bridge is adjacent to the new senior housing community, Waterstone at Wellesley and behind the CVS store on Washington Street.

Photographer Kate Flock

Energy Commission Chair, Eric Olson and Library Director of Programs, Ellen Meyers prepared energy use information handouts for attendees at the program.

Our mission

Thanks ! and next newsletter deadline

For the next newsletter, please send submissions by e-mail to Ira Krepchin,, by Mon, July 23, 2012. Thanks for making this newsletter possible to Managing Editor Ira Krepchin, Editor Peter Smith, Copy Editor Susan Tornheim and article authors. Many thanks to our newsletter mailing chairs Marcia Cooper and Frank Propp, and their team for the last issue: Edie & Frank Propp, Fran Seasholes and Lisa Wilson.



Summer internships & other Newton Green Streets Initiative Walking or riding to work and school just got more volunteer opportunities! rewarding. Working with the Newton Transportation
Green Decade welcomes your volunteer participation, whether you have just little time to spare or want to become involved on a more regular basis. Volunteers are especially needed to help staff our booth at Newtons Farmers Market where we distribute environmental literature and feature our Magic Energy Bike, as well as other fun activities. Farmers Markets are on Tuesdays, 1:30-6 pm in Cold Spring Park on Beacon St. and on Fridays from 12noon-5pm at Post 440 California St. in Nonantum. To volunteer, please contact or call 617-964-8567.

Green Decade at the global Connect the Dots Day on May 5 at the library

Boiler rebates up to $4,000

Is your boiler at least 30 years old? National Grid and NSTAR are offering qualifying customers a limited-time rebate of $1,750 - $4,000 to replace their boiler. Take the first step toward your rebate by Your new boiler must be installed by July 31, 2012 to take advantage of the rebate. In addition, your old boiler must be: 30 years old, or older currently functioning fueled by natural gas, propane, or oil The rebate is NOT for: replacing furnaces converting to another fuel fixing or replacing broken boilers There are steps you must complete to qualify, but your first step is to sign up for a no-cost energy assessment. You schedule your assessment quickly through our partners at Next Step Living (Mass Save qualified vendors). A new boiler could save you hundreds of dollars in heating costs each year, as well as prevent hundreds of pounds of carbon and noxious pollutant emissions. If you have questions, contact the rebates general hotline at 800-480-7472, and ask about the Early Boiler Replacement Rebates. Or:

Advisory Group (TAG), Mayor Setti Warren signed Newton up for the Green Streets Initiative to enhance and encourage active transportation in Newton. This program challenges every resident in and commuter to Newton to walk or ride to work or school on the last Friday of each month. That includes taking a bus or train, carpooling, bicycling, or even parking further from the office. Those who do so can then get rewarded from the Initiatives retail partners. Already, Initiative participants can get free yoga classes, cupcakes and other promotions around the metro area. Folklorica in Newton Centre has already taken the plunge, offering 10% off all merchandise to walk/riders. Participants prove that they reduced their transportation-based carbon emissions by logging on to the Initiatives website: Businesses in Newton can join the Corporate Challenge, which compares participation rates against City employees. Those with high rates get entered into a lottery for prizes. This gives everyone an excuse to try a more environmentally-friendly commute, Downs said. We hope to make that a safer and more pleasant commute also. by Andreae Downs, Chair, Newton Transportation Advisory Group (TAG)

Photographer Jim Purdy

Please join or renew for 2012!

online @:

Green Decade is proud of its 21 year history and our organizations efforts to help residences, businesses and public facilities become more sustainable. You may also send a $25 payment for a basic membership to Green Decade/ Newton, P.O. Box 590242, Newton, MA 02459
Ann Berwick, at large Eric Bobby, at large Al Calderone, at large Marcia Cooper, President Sharon Cushing, Treasurer Ed Cunningham, at large Michele Davis, Energy Lucia Dolan, Clerk, Transportation Paul Eldrenkamp, at large Ira Krepchin, Newsletter Lois Levin, Transp; EnvEditorTAB Jean MacRae, at large Ken Mallory, at large Eric Olson, at large Jim Purdy, Vice Pres, Energy Myron Rosenberg, Development Dan Ruben, Chairperson Mindy Sieber, at large Peter Smith, Newsletter; Chamber Elaine Vildzius, at large

Board of Directors

Sign up and receive a no-cost home energy assessment and you may qualify for 75%- up to $2000 off insulation and air sealing for your home. In addition, our local partner, Next Step Living, will make a $10 donation to support our work after you complete the assessment. Visit: http://nextsteplivinginc. com/gdn/ or call 866-867-8729. Please mention Green Decade! Massachusetts renters, homeowners and landlords living in 1-4 unit buildings with NSTAR and/or National Grid accounts are also eligible.
Printed with soy-based ink on 100% post-consumer waste unbleached recycled paper that is made without a chemical separation process.

Karen Albert Ana Zarina Asuaje Solon, Louise Bruyn, Past Pres. Sheila Clawson David & Elva Del Porto Bev Droz, Past President Dianne Dumanoski Kevin Dutt, Public Affairs Katherine Gekas Bonnie Glickman,EcoTeams Ellie Goldberg Fred Gordon, MCAN Bd. Barbara Herson, Past Pres. Sunwoo Kahng Francoise LaMonica,NewTV Brooke Lipsitt Matt Pawa Fran Seasholes Annabelle Ship Rohna Shoul Heather Tausig Maeve Ward

Advisory Board

617 965-1995