TRENTON -The Christie Administration today announced the award of nearly $16 million in grants to municipalities and counties to keep New Jersey clean through community litter cleanup efforts. Schools, community groups, local governments and local businesses frequently participate in the cleanups funded by these grants, fostering community spirit and civic pride.
“This grant program is a perfect example of state and local partnerships working together to maximize the use of limited resources to address environmental issues,” Department of Environmental Protection Martin said. “Cleaning up litter protects our natural resources, improves our quality of life and builds a strong sense of pride in our communities. These grants provide our municipalities and counties the tools they need to accomplish these goals.”
The DEP awarded more than $14 million to 559 eligible municipalities. Seven municipalities are not eligible because they have fewer than 200 housing units. An additional $1.8 million was awarded to all 21 counties.
The Clean Communities grants are funded by a 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 ($327,987); Jersey City, Hudson County ($302,315); Toms River, Ocean County ($171,156); Hamilton, Mercer County; (145,049); Edison, Middlesex County ($136,606); Elizabeth, Union County ($134,704), Woodbridge, Middlesex County ($133,750), Brick, Ocean County ($129,952); Middletown, Monmouth County ($116,961); and Cherry Hill, Camden County ($115,369).
The counties receiving the largest grant awards are: Ocean ($162,697), Cumberland ($142,494), Burlington ($133,254), Bergen ($116,019) and Camden ($99,812).
Among the activities funded by the grants are volunteer cleanups of public properties, adopt and enforce anti-littering ordinances, conduct beach cleanups, develop public information and education programs, purchase equipment used to collect litter, purchase litter receptacles and recycling bins, purchase anti-litter signs, purchase supplies to remove graffiti, and clean up stormwater systems that can disperse trash into streams, rivers and bays.
In addition to being unsightly, litter is harmful to wildlife both on land in water that may ingest it. Excessive litter can also reduce property values and lead to accidents on roadways.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!