Greener BeeGreen ElectronicsHoneybees, wetlands, recycling to take spotlight at ‘Green Fair’ in Madison

MADISON – Healthy honeybees will create a buzz at the “Madison Green Fair,” to be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, outside the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts at 9 Main St. at Green Village Road.

Valerie and Albert Tomaro of Tomaro Honey in Chatham will bring a demonstration of a living beehive and sell honey, wax candles and skin moisturizers produced from their bee colonies.

“We are committed to keeping honeybees healthy,” Albert Tomaro said, “and enabling them to thrive in the world around us.”

Tomaro noted that honeybees serve a critical role as pollinators in wild spaces as well as in agriculture, but are threatened by colony collapse disorder, resulting in winter losses of 33 percent annually from 2006 through 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Why honeybees are in crisis is not understood, but pesticides, parasites and environmental stressors are being investigated.

Albert Tomaro learned beekeeping at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in order to help the bees survive. It’s now possible for aspiring beekeepers to learn beekeeping in Chatham at the just-established Chatham Community Beekeeping Garden on River Road. Community members, including Madison residents, can join a community hive or have an individual hive, with the guidance of experienced beekeepers like Albert Tomaro. Information is available from the Tomaros at (973) 635-1748 or

Visitors to the April 24 “Madison Green Fair” also can learn about other ways to support bees, such as planting native flowers, shrubs and trees that provide beauty as well as pollen diversity for pollinators. The Madison Environmental Commission and the Garden Club of Madison will have information about plantings for bees at their booths at the fair.

Wetlands And Bluebirds

Betsy Uhlman, chairperson of the Madison Environmental Commission, said helping restore the wetlands at the Madison Recreation Center site off Ridgedale Avenue is another way to boost Madison’s support for bees and other creatures, by removing invasive plants and replacing them with native plants that will attract and sustain wildlife.

At the “Green Fair,” the Environmental Commission will seek volunteers for the first stage of the project, removing the invasive Japanese barberry.

Uhlman said the complete project, as laid out by the Master Plan Committee for the recreation center chaired by Borough Council President Robert Landrigan and Councilwoman Astri Baillie, will restore the ability of the woods and wetlands to filter rainwater into the aquifer below, Madison’s source of drinking water. It will include a deer fence to remove deer, and allow native plants and animals to re-colonize the sensitive area, Uhlman added.

The Eagle Scout project of Boy Scout John Guiheen of Madison Troop 25 – placing bluebird houses in the area – is aimed at attracting bluebirds to the recreation center area, which is a state-recognized New Jersey habitat for the bluebird, a threatened and endangered species. Information about Guiheen’s bluebird project will be available at the “Green Fair.”

Recycling Opportunities

The “Green Fair” also will showcase some of the recycling programs available to Madison residents throughout the year.

Pack, Ship n More of 300 Main St., in the Madison Plaza, accepts Styrofoam for recycling. Co-owner Purnima P. Teli, trained as an air-pollution chemist, processes the material into foam “peanuts” – the kind used to protect the contents of packages for shipping – and delivers it to a Springfield Township recycler. Paper shredding is an additional recycling service he offers.

PC Problems of 50 Main St. accepts electronics for recycling, such as VCRs, small TVs and office equipment, during business hours for no fee. A ton, literally, of electronics have been diverted from landfills and recycled responsibly since PC Problems owner Carmen DeRosa and the Madison Environmental Commission began the program four years ago.

At the “Green Fair,” Whole Foods Market of 222 Main St. will emphasize its recycling initiatives: accepting wine corks to be recycled by Cork ReHarvest and recyclable materials marked “1” through “7.”

Uhlman advised that Madison collects recyclable materials marked “1” through “5” at curbsides.

Recyclables marked “5,” such as yogurt and microwavable takeout containers, are sent to Preserve’s manufacturing facility in upstate New York that creates toothbrushes, cutlery, cups and plates from the recycled material.

Whole Foods will add any waste from the “Green Fair” that can be composted to its recycling pickup, bringing the “Green Fair” closer to its zero-waste goal.

Jamie Mitchell, the regional “green” mission specialist for Whole Foods, said the company seeks to practice and advance environmental stewardship. “Recycling is making more financial sense due to the rising costs of raw materials and the greater availability of recycling markets,” Mitchell commented, “but Whole Foods Market’s ‘green’ mission goes beyond the waste stream to energy conservation, with lights and refrigeration to reducing packaging from suppliers.”

The fifth annual “Madison Green Fair” on April 24 is co-sponsored by the Madison Environmental Commission and Madison Boy Scout Troop 25. The “rain date” is 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 25. Interested exhibitors and “green” companies are encouraged to sign up for a booth at or by emailing

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