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NJ Will Spend $21.4M to Reduce Litter; But If The Public and City Governments Don't Do Their Part...

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (May 31, 2022)--The DEP is increasing the Local Government Clean Communities Grants by $700,000 over prior years. But, as these current photos show taken in Gloucester City, all the money in the world will not do a thing if the residents and local government don't do their part in keeping the city free of the trash.

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People are still using the field across from the Cold Springs School, Gloucester City to dump their trash.  Likewise, Water Street, (below) also in Gloucester City, has become a favorite site for people to dump concrete and other building materials.  

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At the foot of Water Street, Gloucester City, NJ

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This photo was taken two weeks ago on Broadway, near Market Street on a Sunday morning. The trash bag was ripped open by animals. 

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Trash and old appliances were piled on the front porch of an apartment on South Broadway. According to nearby neighbors, the trash had been sitting there for several days. 

 

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Two weeks ago on a Sunday morning, recyclables that the city's trash contractor did not pick up were left laying out for the entire weekend. As a result, much of the trash was left to blow throughout the neighborhood.  The state plans on increasing spending on the litter problem but as long as scenes like those shown above in Gloucester City are allowed to exist the money will be wasted. 

photo credit CNBNewsnet

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TRENTON -- The Department of Environmental Protection is enhancing statewide efforts to remove litter, beautify neighborhoods and improve water quality across New Jersey by distributing $21.4 million in Clean Communities grants this year, an approximate $700,000 increase over 2021’s disbursement, Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today. 

 In total, the DEP is awarding nearly $19.1 million to eligible municipalities and $2.3 million to the state’s 21 counties. The FY2021 grants distribution totaled $20.7 million. Clean Communities grants are funded by a legislated user fee on manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors that produce litter-generating products. 

Clean Communities

“The DEP is thrilled that we can distribute additional grant funds this year to help communities improve their local environments and improve quality of life by removing litter, including from roadways and around stormwater collection systems,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “These community-level efforts have far-reaching impacts across the state, from beautifying neighborhoods to improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitats.”

The nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program. Disbursements are based on housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways. 

“Municipalities and counties are strongly encouraged to use these grants to organize volunteer cleanups, pay employees to pick up litter, purchase badly needed cleanup equipment, and promote educational activities and enforcement,” said JoAnn Gemenden, Executive Director of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “We are grateful for the funding that helps keep New Jersey litter-free. We are proud to serve as an educational resource for communities, as we drive many of our campaigns to engage the younger generations to help mold positive, long-term anti-litter behaviors.” 

Municipalities receiving the largest grants this year are:  

  • Jersey City, Hudson County, $462,879;
  • Newark, Essex County, $453,723;
  • Toms River, Ocean County, $227,480; 
  • Paterson, Passaic County, $206,579; 
  • Hamilton, Mercer County, $194,686; 
  • Edison, Middlesex County, $184,810; 
  • Elizabeth, Union County, $184,727; 
  • Woodbridge, Middlesex County, $181,095;
  • Brick, Ocean County, $170,308;
  • Middletown, Monmouth County, $157,330;
  • Cherry Hill, Camden County, $155,560;
  • Lakewood, Ocean County, $145,844;
  • Trenton, Mercer County, $145,143;
  • Clifton, Passaic County, $141,522;
  • Franklin, Somerset County, $141,492;
  • Vineland, Cumberland County, $136,630;
  • Berkeley, Ocean County, $133,439;
  • Gloucester Township, Camden County, $129,188;
  • Old Bridge, Middlesex County, $124,018;
  • Howell, Monmouth County, $123,522;
  • Camden, Camden County, $123,484;
  • Jackson, Ocean County, $119,285;
  • East Orange, Essex County, $113,991;
  • Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County, $113,932;
  • Manchester, Ocean County, $112,263;
  • Bayonne, Hudson County, $111,904;
  • Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, $110,690
  • Wayne, Passaic County, $107,760;
  • Monroe Township, Middlesex County, $105,240;
  • Piscataway, Middlesex County, $103,344
  • Evesham Township, Burlington County, $101,924;
  • Hoboken, Hudson County, $101,590;
  • East Brunswick, Middlesex County, $100,703;
  • Bridgewater, Somerset County, $100,439.

Counties receiving grants of at least $100,000 are: 

  • Ocean, $216,879;
  • Cumberland, $190,042;
  • Burlington, $177,988;
  • Bergen, $155,656;
  • Gloucester, $145,797;
  • Camden, $139,678;
  • Monmouth, $133,527;
  • Atlantic, $131,163;
  • Salem, $126,562;
  • Middlesex, $110,889;
  • Sussex, $110,437;
  • Morris, $100,624.

Litter comes from 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 community pride. 

Activities funded by Clean Communities grants include volunteer litter cleanups, litter-related education, and 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; purchases of litter collection equipment such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs, and graffiti removal supplies; and reusable bags to promote New Jersey’s single-use plastics law.   

For a complete list of municipal and county grant awards, visit https://www.njclean.org/coordinators/grant-funding

Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP, Facebook @newjerseydep, Instagram @nj.dep, and LinkedIn @newjerseydep 

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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is dedicated to protecting New Jersey’s environment and public health. The agency prioritizes addressing climate change, protecting New Jersey’s water, revitalizing its communities, and managing and promoting its natural and historic resources.

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