Administration Awards $20.2 Million in Clean Communities Grants

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Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 7:53 pm | Updated: 8:25 pm, Sun Jun 11, 2017.

TRENTON, N.J. -- The Christie Administration is awarding $20.2 million in annual Clean Communities grants to help municipalities and counties conduct litter cleanups to beautify New Jersey’s communities and roadsides.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is awarding more than $17.9 million to eligible municipalities, and more than $2.2 million to the state’s 21 counties.

"Clean Communities money is a vital resource for New Jersey’s municipalities and counties every year because these grants help fund cleanups that will further enhance our communities, natural resources and roadways," said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. "By taking care of the environment around us, we encourage others to do the same in their own communities and build pride across the state.

"Simple programs such as litter control do a lot for improving New Jersey’s communities, in terms of public health and quality of life," said Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management. "This year’s Clean Communities grants will allow us to continue fostering environmental stewardship at the local level and help our communities to be more sustainable."

As required by law, the nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program. Grants are funded by a legislated user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products. Disbursements to municipalities are based on the number of housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways within each municipality.

"We are hopeful that municipalities and counties will use Clean Communities funding wisely to pay for volunteer and paid cleanups, badly needed equipment purchases, enforcement activities, and education," said Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council. "We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean."

The counties receiving the largest grant awards are: Ocean, $208,244, Cumberland, $181,596, Burlington, $169,866, Bergen, $147,997 and Gloucester, $136,881.

Litter comes from a variety of sources, such as pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks. Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, such as along a fence, or in a ditch or gully. People tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they lack a sense of ownership or pride in their community. In addition to being unsightly, litter is unhealthy and may create a negative public image.

Activities funded by Clean Communities grants include cleanups of stormwater systems that can disperse trash into streams, rivers and bays; volunteer cleanups of public properties; adoption and enforcement of local anti-littering ordinances; beach cleanups; public information and education programs; and purchases of litter collection equipment such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and graffiti removal supplies.

SOURCE: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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