Hillsborough earns high place in nationwide water conservation effort

Hillsborough Township Municipal Building. (Courtesy photo)

Hillsborough Township was recently honored for it water conservation efforts.

Township officials announced on June 11 that Hillsborough placed first in New Jersey in the 30,000 to 99,999 population category and 31st in a nationwide challenge.

Officials explained that more than 2,000 residents pledged to save approximately 8.5 million gallons of water.

After Hillsborough Township Mayor Frank DelCore announced on April 11 that he joined colleagues across the country in an initiative to encourage residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely, in an effort to carry out this initiative, township officials said the municipality took part in the annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

Founded in 1993, the Wyland Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s ocean, waterways, and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through community events, education programs, and public art projects.

The annual challenge is a non-profit national community service campaign that encourages leaders to inspire their residents to make a series of simple pledges to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and save energy.

Last year, residents from over 3,800 cities in all 50 U.S. states pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by 3 billion gallons, reduce waste sent to landfills by 79.9 million pounds, and prevent more than 177,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering our watersheds.

The challenge aims to go beyond recent drought issues and looks at the ways people’s water use will affect the future of communities — from how society grows food to reducing polluted runoff.

Cities compete in population categories and those with the highest percentage of residents taking the challenge in their category have a chance to win $3,000 toward their home ttility bill and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes.

After the results came in June for the Wyland 8th Annual National Mayor’s Campaign for Water Conservation, Hillsborough Township entered the competition for the first time and finished 31st out of 550-plus towns and cities across the U.S. and 1st in New Jersey in the 30,000 to 99,999 population category.

“Water Conservation is critical for a sustainable future and Hillsborough remains dedicated to supportive efforts for further education and awareness to initiatives such as this,” Mayor DelCore said in a statement.

The final statistics for the campaign included 2,060 pledges from residents;  8.56 million gallons of water saved; 22,490 reduction of single-use plastic water bottles; $106,166 saved in consumer cost; 516 pounds of hazardous waste eliminated; 228,960 pounds less in landfills; 551,796 kilowatt hours of electricity saved; 36.9 million co2 emissions; and 62,695 gallons of oil saved.

The Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation also had its biggest participation to date, with U.S. residents making over 740,000 pledges to cut water use by 3 billion gallons.

In addition to reducing overall water waste, challenge participants in 50 states pledge to reduce their use of single use plastic water bottles by 8.6 million, eliminate 179,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering local watersheds, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12.9 billion pounds.

“Thank you to every resident who took the pledge and once again proved that it is the great people of Hillsborough that continue to make Hillsborough one of the best places to live in America,” DelCore said. “A special thank you to Smay Shah and Rajas Chordiya who assisted David Kois, Business Advocate and Sustainability Director as Hillsborough High School REACH interns.”

Hillsborough is Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level and the township’s participation in this national challenge is the latest step in Hillsborough’s on-going commitment to Sustainable practices.

For more information on how to conserve water, go to the Hillsborough Water Conservation Guide at www.sustainablehillsborough.com.

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