The Borough is a leader in the protection and care of the natural resources that beautify the borough and create the environment that borough residents have enjoyed for decades. In 2008, the borough council created an Environmental Advisory Council to research and report on the myriad of environmental issues that impact borough residents.

Single-Use Plastics

The widespread use of single-use plastics is a serious environmental problem facing all communities including Doylestown Borough. Plastic lingers in the environment, creating a visual blight on the landscape, burdening landfills, clogging waterways, and endangering marine life.

Since 2016, the Borough’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) has been discussing and researching the impact of single-use plastics on our community and how to mitigate the damage. These efforts were partly inspired by a successful initiative that year led by a Central Bucks West high school senior to convert the school cafeteria from using polystyrene trays to reusable trays. Over the next two years, the EAC met with business owners, hosted a presentation on sustainable restaurant practices, researched plastic life-cycle analyses, encouraged participation in "No-Straw November," and considered the viability of alternatives to single-use plastics.

In 2019, the EAC distributed a survey on single-use plastics to Borough residents and businesses. The survey indicated that a significant majority of respondents supported limiting the use of single-use plastics. (You can review the survey results here: Plastics Reduction Survey.) Encouraged by the community support, the EAC developed recommendations to be submitted to Borough Council for an ordinance banning certain single-use plastic bags.

The same year, the EAC’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags were halted when the Pennsylvania's legislature, through a fiscal-code bill, placed a moratorium on local government's authority to adopt new regulations on single-use plastics. The block was lifted in 2021.

In 2022, the EAC submitted to Borough Council a draft ordinance that would ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags (with certain exceptions) at commercial establishments. Consumers would be required to bring their own reusable bags or pay a fee directly to the establishment to obtain a recycled paper bag or a reusable bag. The Doylestown Borough Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) held an information session on September 20 to discuss the proposed ordinance. Over 50 Borough businesses and residents attended the meeting, providing valuable feedback to the EAC as they work to create an ordinance that best fits the community while protecting our environment. After receiving input on the draft ordinance, the EAC adjusted the ordinance, which was adopted by Borough Council on December 19, 2022. The Ordinance can be found HERE.

Of course, the most effective solution to solving plastic waste is you! We encourage you to skip the bag when possible and to keep a supply of reusable bags on hand for carrying your purchases home when needed. Thanks!

For more information on the damage caused by single-use plastic bags, and the efforts of communities in our area to regulate them, please see the links below.

Plastic Litter in Pennsylvania — From 2019 “Litter in Pennsylvania” Study

Summary of PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center study, “Microplastics in Pennsylvania, A Survey of Waterways”, March 2021

Ocean Conservancy Information Sheet – Plastics in the Ocean

EPA Information Page on Aquatic Trash, including Plastics

Statewide Plastic Bag Legislation in the US

Doylestown Awarded SolSmart Silver Designation - August 2019

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Doylestown Borough has been accepted as a SolSmart Silver Community. SolSmart is a national designation program recognizing communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets. The program is funded by a grant through the U.S. Department of Energy and is used to provide technical assistance to communities to help streamline the process for property owners to convert to solar PV systems. We now have access to their technical assistance and training programs, which also includes training opportunities for the Fire Department.

Communities are accepted into the program, evaluated based on existing ordinances and policies, and are usually required to make adjustments to earn official designation. Doylestown was accepted into the program as a candidate for Bronze designation but the Borough's existing initiatives qualified us for Silver with just a few minor tweaks to our website and some technical training.

We were the first community in PA with a Silver designation, Philadelphia being the one designee with a higher rating. Haddonfield, NJ was also awarded Silver and is the only other town in the Delaware Valley region to achieve a designation higher than Bronze.

A map of designees can be found here:

Bird Town Pennsylvania

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Doylestown is a member of Bird Town Pennsylvania (BTP), an organization that encourages local environmental stewardship to sustain a healthy environment for birds, other wildlife, and community residents. BTP’s initiatives include sponsoring bird walks led by experienced birders and promoting certification programs that help homeowners develop bird-friendly habitats on their properties. For more information about BTP and to sign up for their newsletter, please visit their website here.

Chem-Fab Superfund Site

Chem Fab Fact Sheet March 2021

The Chem-Fab site is located at 300 North Broad Street in Doylestown, Pa. The company operated an electroplating and metal processing facility on the site from 1965 to 1994. Subsequently the property was used to store and dump other waste chemicals. Groundwater underlying the site is contaminated with metals associated with the electroplating process and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals commonly found in solvents and degreasers. The VOCs also impacted three nearby municipal wells and several residential wells. There is a potential for the VOC-contaminated groundwater to vaporize and enter homes near the site.

The following contaminants have been found at the site: tricholoroethene, hexavalent chromium, carbon tetrachloride, cis- 1,2-dichloroethene, 1,1-dichloroethene, tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethene, and vinyl chloride.

The Chem-Site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites in 2008.

In the Spring of 2021 EPA started construction work at the Chem Fab Site to build a groundwater treatment plant. The purpose of this project is to begin cleaning up the groundwater at the Site. To learn more about the Chem Fab Site, visit the following website:

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that we know has been found in the Borough’s mosquito population in the past few years. We are asking all residents to take steps to reduce potential breeding grounds for mosquitos by:

  • Emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.
  • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths daily.
  • Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
  • Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
  • Clean gutters so they are totally dry between rainfalls.
  • Survey your property regularly for wet spots.
  • Contact the Borough using DWorks or by phone or email if you are aware of any standing water in warmer months so we can investigate.