Two Staten Islanders have received a clean energy award from a local publication

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The City and State has awarded the 2024 Clean Energy Trailblazer series of awards to various New Yorkers fighting climate change, including two Staten Islanders: a Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Republican Nicole Malliotakis and New York lawyers in the Public Interest Policy Director case.

Sarah Blas and Justin Wood are committed to implementing clean energy practices in the parks district and were named to an extensive list of recipients that included energy leaders and legislative advocates.

According to the detailed article, Wood was involved in the work to pass the Waste Capital Act of 2018 and the Commercial Waste Zones Act of 2019.

As reported on, the Waste Act applied to four communities in three boroughs, including: Brooklyn 1, Bronx 1, Bronx 2, and Queens 12. The law required the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to “reduce the permitted capacity of putrefying and “non-rotting transfer stations” in the mentioned communes.

The Commercial Waste Zones Act creates, as the name suggests, commercial waste zones throughout New York City.

Details on “The Commercial Waste Zone (CWZ) program is intended to divide the city into 20 zones, each of which will be served by up to three competitively selected haulers. Five citywide contracts will also be awarded for container and compactor waste collection. It will reduce commercial waste collection truck traffic by 50%, eliminating millions of miles of heavy-duty truck travel from New York City streets each year, while strengthening service standards and empowering customers with choice.

“I am honored to be one of two Staten Islanders recognized by the city and state as clean energy pioneers. Like the rest of New York, communities in our borough face huge disparities in exposure to pollution, access to affordable renewable energy, and access to safe, affordable, and sustainable transportation options. The good news is that Staten Island has great potential to develop renewable energy facilities, expand and electrify public transportation options, and develop sustainable composting and recycling industries. We can and should be a green jobs hub for the entire region,” Wood said.

Blas announced her candidacy in February, introducing herself as the first Democratic candidate to run for the congressional seat where Malliotakis currently resides.

She founded an organization called Staten Island Therapeutic Gardens, which led New York City Authority (NYCHA) cleanup efforts in the New Brighton area, including the Richmond Terrace Houses she calls home.

Advance/ named Blas a Woman of Achievement for her work at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when she helped organize food deliveries and pop-up events through Staten Island Therapeutic Gardens.

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