TRENTON — New Jersey Clean Communities, the state’s only broad-based comprehensive litter abatement program, today announced that it’s Slam Dunk the Junk public information campaign, launched last year, will continue through 2010.
The statewide anti-litter campaign, created in response to a legislative mandate to educate people about proper handling of waste, will feature yearlong special events and a public service announcement designed to encourage New Jersey residents to put trash where it belongs — in cans or recycling bins — not on the ground.
“Litter is a pervasive problem that adversely affects the health, wealth and welfare of New Jersey residents,” said Sandy Huber, executive director of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council Inc. (NJCCC) “Through our Slam Dunk the Junk campaign, we are asking all New Jersey residents to help reduce litter by participating in local cleanup efforts and encouraging one another to pick up litter whenever they see it and to not contribute to the problem themselves.”
The Slam Dunk the Junk slogan is attributed to East Orange Environmental Ambassador Quamir Payton, a seventh-grade student who spoke those words in 2007 at an anti-litter campaign in East Orange. Quamir is featured in a PSA airing throughout New Jersey on public and cable television stations as well as in schools and sporting and entertainment venues.
Since its launch in May 2009, Huber said the campaign has been embraced by individuals, communities, organizations, corporations and media outlets throughout the state. It has led to numerous grass-roots cleanup efforts, primarily along local, county and state roads as well as in urban areas where litter tends to accumulate. Corporate partners include Coca-Cola Bottling Co.; Waste Management of NJ, the New Jersey Food Council, Covanta Energy Corp. and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
Many who participated in the campaign last year will be honored at the NJCCC’s Seventh Annual Clean Communities Seminar & Awards Banquet in Atlantic City and Brigantine May 26-28. Two thousand students from all over the state are expected to accept awards at the Kids-Teens for Clean Communities student awards program on May 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, which will open with a basketball performance featuring the Harlem Wizards.
“We are extremely pleased with the success of Slam Dunk the Junk, and we are grateful to the many volunteers who have supported the program,” said Huber. “We hope the program inspires even more residents and visitors to join our quest for a cleaner, healthier New Jersey.”
Huber noted that people do not need to participate in formal cleanups to help the cause. “Litter is everyone’s responsibility,” she said. “It is about people — the people who put trash on the ground and the people who pick it up.”
Those interested in joining or coordinating a local cleanup or learning more about how they can get involved in New Jersey Clean Communities’ Slam Dunk the Junk can call 1-609-989-5900 or visit www.njclean.org. Visitors to the Web site can also view the 60-second Slam Dunk the Junk PSA.
Miranda Brooke Pawline, 14, of Delanco, is shown here wearing a “Green Queen” ball gown she created entirely from recycled plastic shopping bags, after being named the 2010-2011 Environmental Ambassador by the NJ Clean Communities Council during the 7th Annual Kids/Teens Conference, “Slam Dunk the Junk at the Jersey Shore,” in Atlantic City May 26.
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