Happy New Year!!  I hope you had a great holiday.

I wanted to provide a 2023 overview to keep everybody in the loop on what ANJR has accomplished and what we are working on for 2024:

As you know, in March of last year, ANJR held the very 1st NJ Sustainability in Motion Conference at Caesars in Atlantic City.  The conference was in collaboration with NJ Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) and exceeded our expectations. The net benefit to ANJR was about $45,000. Besides the financial impact, the Conference provided a huge platform for ANJR to be seen and heard. ANJR received tremendous exposure.

In addition:

    • ANJR hosted our 1st Sustainability Social at the Source Farmhouse in Colts Neck that drew 75+ business and municipal folks.
    • We submitted a grant application to the US EPA in Q3. In a nutshell, our application was based on current issues with battery disposal. We have the support of many NJ Associations as well as the NJ DEP. We passed round #1 and have been asked to submit a final paper by the end of September, which we did with the help of Twenty/Twenty Consultants and Board members. We will know something by this April. If successful, the grant could be as high as $1.2M.
    • ANJR attended the recent NJ League of Municipalities as an exhibitor AND we hosted our 1st League Session. The room held 75 people and we have over 100+ that attended. The topic was “Understanding the Local Impact of National Markets.” Our panel consisted of myself, Gary Sondermeyer from Bayshore, Bill Lehman from WM and Wayne DeFeo from DeFeo Associates. The esteemed Mayor Gary Passanante from Somerdale was our moderator.
    • We have been asked to participate and be part of a panel for the PA PROP Conference. Good things are coming, and the vibe is fantastic.
    • We are working on creating “Business-to-Business” gatherings (like local Chamber of Commerce events). It will provide our Business Council members to network with other business throughout NJ.
    • Like the above, social networking gatherings for all members at different locations throughout the year. If anyone has any ideas/locations/suggestions, please feel free to email me.

Now, on to 2024:

ANJR needs your help in making this year’s Sustainability Conference better than ever. I am humbly asking our Business Council and ALL Members for the following:

  • Business Council Members, please exhibit to show your support. If you cannot exhibit, I urge you to place an Ad in the Sustainability program. In addition, the Conference Exec Committee has developed an opportunity for you in the event you cannot exhibit, we are asking you to donate $800 so a non-profit has the opportunity to exhibit. Many non-profits have a message that needs to be told but may not be financially able to attend.  I am also humbly asking our Business Council members to reach out to their respective friends to participate.
  • I ask that ALL of our almost 300 members to attend the Conference if able to do so. New this year there will be a “day rate” of $220 for those members that cannot stay overnight. Like my request of the Business Council members, I ask that you act as ambassadors for the Conference and spread the word to your colleagues and associates. In addition, reach out to your vendors and if possible, ask them to exhibit.

This conference will bring together public works directors, recycling professionals, and materials managers from all around the state as well as clean communities coordinators, elected officials, consulting firms, equipment vendors, non-profit organizations, corporate representatives, and industry experts.  The agenda will continue to focus on broad topics such as recycling, food waste, litter abatement, emerging recycling technologies, energy efficiency and sustainable business practices.

The conference will serve as a perfect opportunity to network with NJ business and government leaders and promote ANJR’s statewide presence as well as their commitment to sustainability.

Some exciting new additions for 2024 include a NJDEP Roundtable Discussion which will provide an opportunity for conference attendees to interact with NJDEP representatives from various divisions.  We are also honored to have the State Climatologist, David Robinson, as our keynote speaker.

The conference announcement, sponsorship prospectus and registration information can be found at  https://www.njsustainabilityconference.com/.

Finally, I would like to issue the ANJR Newsletter more frequently. My ambitious goal is one tome per month but realistically I’d be happy with every-other-month. Please let us know what is going on within your community/schools. What sustainable practices are you implementing???

I am honored to work with and support this great Association! But as I said at the inaugural 2023 NJ Sustainability in Motion Conference, everybody, and every member of ANJR is on the Board. It cannot exist or continue without the support from all of us!! Send it to me at my email below. Business members, this include you as well. Let us know more about your business and what services you offer.

Thanks so much,

Gary Smalley

E: GarySmalley0626@outlook.com