Thoughts on the Mayor’s presentation

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Gadfly forgot to let you know about the free showing of and panel discussion about the documentary Paris to Pittsburgh Wednesday, March 27, 7pm (reception at 6:30), STEPS building (catacorner from the Chapel on Packer Ave.), Lehigh University. Tip o’ the hat to the ubiquitous Kathy Fox!

Dana Grubb is a lifelong resident of the City of Bethlehem who worked 27 years for the City of Bethlehem in the department of community and economic development, as sealer of weights and measures, housing rehabilitation finance specialist, grants administrator, acting director of community and economic development, and deputy director of community development.


I would question the migration to artificial Christmas trees from live trees given that live Christmas trees are a renewable crop that are rather easily composted, and artificial trees are not. I believe this to be a false narrative that it is beneficial to the environment, rather that it is more a cost efficiency issue with their installation.

Also, I would agree that a new round of public education on recycling programs is very necessary, given that it’s been at least ten years since the City of Bethlehem undertook a comprehensive approach to advertising and education in order to get buy-in from residents and businesses.

I reside in one of the larger rental communities in the City. The solid waste container for my neighborhood is often stuffed with all kinds of recyclable materials such as cardboard, glass, plastic and metallic items. Although the complex is required as a commercial entity (not as a housing entity) to provide containers for the collection of these items, I’ve peered into those large roll-offs and have seen ordinary household waste co-mingled with what can and should be recycled. This contamination defeats the purpose and probably sends much of that material to landfills.

Finally, revising City ordinances to require solar energy panels on roofs of new development of a certain footprint would be a big step toward renewable energy independence given the proliferation of huge warehouses in our area. It would also allow for on property parking for tractor trailers and provide electric power to be used to service a rig, instead of it running constantly and spewing exhaust into the atmosphere.


One thought on “Thoughts on the Mayor’s presentation

  1. I agree with Dana that natural trees are non-polluting and close to carbon-neutral. They absorb some CO2 while growing and, if properly composted, they release very little GHG and provide natural fertilizer to enrich the soil. Plastic trees do not reduce GHG at all; when eventually disposed of they are harmful to the environment.
    Also interesting that the trees are mentioned under Bethlehem Energy Efficiency Projects, but they have zero effect on the city’s energy consumption.
    Installing either type of tree takes weeks involving a truck with a boom lift and is a significant source of GHG emissions.

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