About Us

What the VEC does?

The Verona Environmental Commission was established by Ordinance No. 9-92 on August 3, 1992. The Commission is comprised of seven members (one of whom is also a member of the Planning Board), plus two alternates. All members are Verona residents, serve without compensation and are appointed by the Mayor. 

Here you can read the commission's 2013 Annual Report

The role of the Commission is to study and make recommendations to the Township Council and the Planning Board concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna throughout the Township.

The Commission interacts with neighboring community environmental commissions and the Essex County Environmental Center. It review all applications sent to the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment to evaluate their impact on the environment.

The VEC provides environmental information and programs for residents and protects the Township's environmental resources for health and well being of present and future residents.

The VEC in Verona's Fair

The VEC participated in Verona Fair In the Square on Dec. 1st, 2012. At the commission's table visitors learned about the dangers of toxic synthetic lawn pesticides. The commission invited residents to sign a petition to keep lawn pesticides off Verona's school grounds and public fields where children play. The most common reaction was "Who could be against this?". Over 200 residents already signed the petition in person and online. You can read the petition here. Children made holiday cards for their families and friends with reclaimed cards from Verona. Pictured from right, Council Member Kevin Ryan visiting the VEC table, Chaiman Jerry Shimonaski and HBW teacher Tony Saltalamacchia with his daughter. 

The commission also participated in Verona Fair in the Square in 2010 and 2011. At the commission's table visitors played the game "How Long it Takes to Decompose" and and "Identify the Household Hazardous Waste Items". Residents also signed the VEC's recycling pledge and those who needed a new recycling bin ordered a free one.

Pictured is former Verona Mayor Teena Schwartz visiting the VEC table at the fair, commission members Tony Saltalamacchia, Jim Loudon and Chairman Jerry Shimonaski.

Elementary School Presentations

VEC members created a presentation about Verona's Recycling Programs with local pictures and information targeting third and fourth grade students.

Later on the VEC presented this program at the following schools: Forest Ave., Laning Ave., F.N.Brown, Brookdale Ave. (pictured left) and Our Lady of the Lake. This program is plan to run in all 5 school every 2 years. SEE MORE PICTURES HERE

Verona celebrated Earth Day

The VEC celebrated Earth Day at the Verona Recycling Center on April 30th. Residents brought their recyclable items and filled two large dumpsters with cardboard. Two hundreds green and more than one hundred and fifty blue recycling containers were distributed. The VEC would like to thank Mike Inglesino from the Recycling Center for helping all day during the event. Posters teaching how to reuse and recycle plastic shopping bags were displayed, encouraging to use reusable cloth bags instead. Thank you all for such a wonderful celebration!

Steps to Go Green

The VEC participated in "Steps to Go Green", a fair sponsored by the Caldwell, West Caldwell and Roseland Environmental Commissions. The event took place in October 2010 at the Caldwell College Cafeteria. Admission was free. The commission presented the program "Idle Free Verona" and played the game "How long it takes to decompose" with the visitors. We would like to tank Ann Marchioni, Caldwell Environmental Commission's Chairperson, for inviting us. Pictured from left, VEC members Tony Saltalamacchia, Tara Bratek, James Loudon, Virginia Citrano and Gloria Machnowski.

ANJEC Training

A new member of the Verona Environmental Commission participated on the "Training to protect Natural Resources" held by the
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions in 2010. Pictured are some of the attendees during Nelson Dittmar presentation (ANJEC Board of Trustees). The event took place in the Geraldine R. Dodge LEEDS Certified Building, 14 Maple Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey.

Peckman River Clean-Up

VHS Students Removed Half a Ton of Trash. More than 60 Verona High School students participated in the annual Peckman River Clean-Up on May 21st 2010. Students were assisted by VHS Vice Principal Dave Galbierczyk, VEC Chairman Jerry Shimonaski and VHS teachers Linda Barone, Jan Korman, Chris Tamburro and Carl Cascone. SEE MORE PICTURES HERE
The Caldwell and Roseland Environmental Commissions sponsored a Green Fair in October 2009.The fair took place at Caldwell College and featured green, sustainable and healthy vendors, speakers and presentations, a silent auction, raffles and fun activities for the whole family. We exhibited our “Idle Free Verona” presentation and poster contest, the VEC Treasured Tree Program and Paper Recycling at Verona Schools’ displays. Pictured between Jerry and Gloria from the VEC is Ann Marchioni, Caldwell Environmental Commission's
Thank you for inviting us to this successful event!

Non-Point Source Pollution

The Verona Environmental Commission made a presentation on Non-point source pollution (pollution caused by human activity) to HBW 8th graders. Pictured are former VEC members Andrew Robinson and Carrie Dietz, Area 4 Watershed Ambassador and retired HBW science teacher, Mike Somers.

To see more pictures visit our Photo Gallery
(Peckman River Cleanup).

Go Green, Save Green Fair

Who's in the Environmental Commission?

Name Position Term Expires
Gloria Machnowski Chairwoman & Webmaster 06/30/16
Gerard Shimonaski Vice-Chairman & Treasurer    06/30/14
Virginia M. Citrano Commissioner06/30/14
James Loudon Commissioner06/30/16
Anthony Saltalamacchia Commissioner & HBW Environ. Club Advisor06/30/14
Larry Lonergan Planning Board 06/30/16
Jessica Pearson Commissioner - Secretary  06/30/15
Julia CapuanoAlternate 1 - VHS Liaison04/07/16
Kevin RyanCouncil Liaison


VEC members have completed the course on the responsibilities of an Environmental Commissioner given by ANJEC (Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissioners) or Rutgers University's Environmental Stewards program. VEC's current Vice-Chairman has completed the Leadership course given by ANJEC and he is the Townships representative to the County Solid Waste Advisory Council (SWAC). Several of our members have attended presentations on Green Buildings, Water Protection and Air Pollution.

VEC Accomplishments

• Implemented paper and cardboard recycling at all Verona public schools.
• 2010 Community Service Recognition at the Mayor's Charity Affair (pictured right).
• 2009 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.
• Installed “No Idling” signage at HBW middle school, four elementary schools and Community Center.
• Created presentation on idling posted on YouTube.
• Created presentation on recycling that was given at all public elementary schools, as well as at Our Lady of the Lake School.
• Organized annual Peckman River clean-up.
• Celebrated Earth Day at the Recycling Center and distributed recycling bins to residents.
• Assisted Verona School District in switching to green cleaning products.
• Attended all Hilltop meetings of the Planning Board and all TCI expansion meetings by the Board of Adjustment.
• Sponsored three annual poster contests on idling at all elementary schools.
• Mounted three “Idle Free Verona” exhibits at the Verona Library and Essex County Environmental Center.
• Created the Treasured Tree Program and the online tree tour.
• Developed the VEC's Web site www.veronaec.org using free online software.

Former Members

The first VEC Chairman was Marc Kaplan followed by Teena Schwartz (former Verona Mayor), Chris Pierce, Lydia Bashwiner, David Freschi, Cinzia Cortese and Jerry Shimonaski.

List of  VEC members from 1992 to 2010

Marc Kaplan, Beverly DeCheser, Ed Condon (Planning Board Rep.), Larry Gasparo (Planning Board Rep.), Teena Schwartz, Megan Ambroso, Thomas Cocchiola, Robert Masiello, Bill Oser (Planning Board Rep.), Chris Pierce, Lydia Bashwiner, Chris Daniels, Lori Tanner, Jack Grebe, Hans Erdenberger, Joe Carpinelli (Planning Board Rep.), Jerry Caprio, Andrew Robinson, Eric Kohlstaat, Rich Williamson, Jason Apter, David Freschi, Gerard Shimonaski, Cinzia Cortese, Mark Newell, Karen Pensiero (Planning Board Rep.), Genaro Salierno, Deborah Jacobsen, Anne Stires, Gloria Machnowski, James Loudon, Tom Freeman (Planning Board Rep.), Virginia Citrano and Anthony Saltalamacchia.

If you are a former VEC member and your name is not listed please contact us. The names were taken from the minutes found in the archives.

How can a Non-Member participate?

Any Verona resident may attend a meeting of the Environmental Commission. If you can't attend, but have an idea to improve Verona's environment, please contact us.

VEC Awards:

2010 Mayor’s Charity Affair

The VEC would like to thank Mayor Teena Schwartz and the 2010 Mayor’s Charity Affair Committee for recognizing our Community Service. Congratulations to all 2010 honorees and to all former VEC members without whom this recognition could not be possible. Pictured from left, VEC current Chairman Gerard Shimonaski and VEC first Chairman Marc Kaplan.

The 17th Annual Mayor’s Charity Affair took place on May 23rd at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. The purpose of the event was to raise funds that will be donated to Verona organizations and programs that reach all residents. READ MORE

2009 ANJEC Award for the VEC

The Verona Environmental Commission received an Environmental Achievement Award at ANJEC’s 2009 Environmental Congress held at Cook Campus Center, Rutgers University in New Brunswick on October 17th. The award recognizes the Commission's successful efforts in establishing paper recycling in all of Verona's schools. READ MORE

About this Web site

This Web site was created by VEC volunteers in August 2009 using free on-line software. All content and works posted are for educational purposes only. Included photographs are either courtesy of volunteers or public domain pictures. VEC member Gloria Machnowski is in charge of updating and maintaining this Web site.
VEC Verona Environmental Commission,
Mar 26, 2014, 8:23 AM
VEC Verona Environmental Commission,
Oct 10, 2010, 8:14 PM