Commissioner Haley targets litter
As part of today’s Earth Day celebration, Transportation Commissioner John J. Haley, Jr., launched a statewide litter campaign, starting in Newark.
"We’re here to launch an interagency effort to clean up New Jersey’s roads," Commissioner said.
Commissioner Haley participated in a litter pick-up and tree-planting today on Route 21 with Newark Mayor Sharpe James and schoolchildren from the South Street school in Newark.
"We are also committed to solving the litter problem along roadways in Newark," the Commissioner said. "I am pleased to announce an interagency effort among NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, the N.J. Turnpike Authority, and the Port Authority to clean up litter at various locations in the City."
"Our starting point is Newark, but the entire state of New Jersey is our goal," the Commissioner said. "It is appropriate that on Earth Day we renew our efforts to make New Jersey a cleaner and greener place to live. This is a quality of life issue."
"We will concentrate our efforts in three key areas: education, enforcement and action," the Commissioner said. "Educating the public helps to stop litter at the source; active enforcement aids in deterring littering; and the action we will take is to focus our litter pick-up efforts on a series of areas that historically have been litter problems."
The New Jersey State Police will provide enforcement, and NJDOT will be setting up a special Litter Hotline for citizens to report litter. The hotline will be similar to the highly successful 1-800-POTHOLE line, and the new number will be made available to citizens within the next few days.
"I am pleased that Commissioner Haley has chosen Newark as the starting point for his efforts on litter control," Mayor James said. "We look forward to working with NJDOT and the other participating agencies in making Newark’s roadways cleaner and greener, with the help of citizens, who must also take responsibility in this important effort."
As part of NJDOT’s action plan, Haley assigned Harold Neil of the Commissioner’s Office to coordinate litter control efforts. Harold previously handled constituent issues for the DOT and will now report directly to the Commissioner on litter control efforts.
"One of the best ways to combat litter is through our Adopt A Highway program. The program not only helps with litter control, it instills a sense of responsibility in all of us, and that is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping our roads clean and reducing the amount of litter on them," the Commissioner.
"Our department will commit to making sure that the Adopt A Highway program has the resources its needs," the Commissioner said. "We want to match new Adopt A Highway groups with these areas. We are also looking for partners in New Jersey’s corporate community to aggressively build on that program."
"The Adopt a Highway program, along with our Inmate Litter Program, have been the lynchpins of our efforts to control litter," the Commissioner said. "We currently have 650 groups participating in the Adopt A Highway program, and our goal is to reach 1,000 participating groups."
"Our goal is to not only expand our litter pick-up efforts, but to more effectively communicate with communities, civic groups and interested people who want to join us in declaring war on litter," the Commissioner said.