CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $16 MILLION IN
CLEAN COMMUNITIES GRANTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
(12/P53) TRENTON - The Christie Administration today announced the award of nearly $16 million in Clean Communities grants to help municipalities and counties fund litter cleanup efforts that help beautify New Jersey’s communities and roadsides.
“Cleaning up litter protects our natural resources, improves our quality of life and builds a strong sense of pride in our communities,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “With these grants, our municipalities and counties will be able to carry out important programs that remove litter and graffiti from our neighborhoods and highways, making our communities better places to live and work.”
The DEP awarded $13.86 million to 559 eligible municipalities. Seven municipalities are not eligible because they have fewer than 200 housing units. An additional $1.73 million was awarded to all 21 counties.
“This grant program is a perfect example of state, local and nonprofit partnerships working together to maximize the use of our resources to address environmental issues,” said Jane Kozinski, Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management. “Equally important, schools, community groups, local governments and local businesses participate in the cleanups funded by these grants, boosting community spirit and civic pride.”
As established by law, the nonprofit Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program.
“Clean Communities funding is a real blessing for municipalities and counties in New Jersey,” said Clean Communities Council Executive Director Sandy Huber. “This money offsets strained budgets by providing funding for volunteer cleanups, purchase of equipment related to cleanup and storm drain activities, enforcement of litter laws, and education in the schools. Clean Communities has a 20-year legacy in New Jersey as the only fully funded, statewide anti-litter program. We are grateful to Governor Chris Christie for his ongoing efforts to keep New Jersey’s communities clean.”
The Clean Communities 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. Disbursements to counties are based on the number of miles of roads each county owns.
The municipalities receiving the largest grant awards are: Newark, Essex County ($322,906); Jersey City, Hudson County ($297,748); Toms River, Ocean County ($168,297); Hamilton, Mercer County; (142,745); Edison, Middlesex County ($134,350); Elizabeth, Union County ($132,690), Woodbridge, Middlesex County ($131,533), Brick, Ocean County ($127,792); Middletown, Monmouth County ($114,937); and Cherry Hill, Camden County ($113,429).
The counties receiving the largest grant awards are: Ocean ($160,448), Cumberland ($140,524), Burlington ($131,412), Bergen ($114,416) and Camden ($98,433).
Litter comes from pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks, and is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, as along a fence. People tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they do not feel a sense of ownership or community pride. Litter is unsightly, unhealthy can create a negative public image.
Among the activities funded by the grants are volunteer cleanups of public properties, adoption and enforcement of local anti-littering ordinances, beach cleanups, public information and education programs, purchases of equipment used to collect litter, purchases of litter receptacles and recycling bins, purchases of anti-litter signs, purchases of supplies to remove graffiti, and cleanups of stormwater systems that can disperse trash into streams, rivers and bays.
For lists of municipal and county grant awards, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/county20120430.pdf and http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/municipal20120430.pdf