CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $18 MILLION IN CLEAN COMMUNITIES GRANTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
FUNDS WILL HELP IN CONTINUING POST-SANDY CLEANUPS
(13/P48) TRENTON –The Christie Administration today announced the award of $18.3 million in Clean Communities grants to help municipalities and counties fund litter cleanup efforts that help beautify New Jersey's communities and roadsides.
"This money is used for litter removal efforts that show the Christie Administration's commitment to protecting our natural resources, enhancing our quality of life and building an important sense of pride in our communities across the state," said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. "This year, in the wake of devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, these cleanup funds are more important to our towns and counties than ever.''
The DEP is awarding a total of $18.3 million, including $16.2 million to 559 eligible municipalities, an increase of $2.3 million over the 2012 awards. Seven municipalities are not eligible because they have fewer than 200 housing units. An additional $2.1 million is being awarded to all 21 counties.
"These grants help enable our cities, towns and counties to move ahead with programs that eliminate litter from our neighborhoods and along our roads and highways, making our state a better place to live and work," said Jane Kozinski, Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management.
As established by law, the nonprofit Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program.
Clean Communities funding is more important than ever in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,'' said Clean Communities Council Executive Director Sandy Huber. "Grant money can be used for cleanup of debris that ended up on our streets and beaches as a result of the storm. We are calling on volunteers to work with us to restore New Jersey. What better use of Clean Communities funds, and for a program that has a 20-year legacy in New Jersey as the only fully funded, statewide anti-litter program.''
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.
Municipalities receiving the largest 2013 grant awards in their respective counties are: Galloway Township, Atlantic County ($78,865); Hackensack, Bergen County ($68,276); Evesham Township, Burlington County ($85,794); Cherry Hill, Camden County ($133,176); Ocean City, Cape May County ($83,701); Vineland, Cumberland County ($116,754); Newark, Essex County ($399,117); Washington Township, Gloucester County ($83,388); Jersey City, Hudson County (349,580); and Raritan Township, Hunterdon County ($55577).
Other top fund recipients in their respective counties are Hamilton Township, Mercer County ($167,595); Edison, Middlesex County ($157,738); Middletown, Monmouth County ($134,945); Parsippany, Morris County (97,923); Toms River, Ocean County ($197,594); Paterson, Passaic County ($169,792); Pennsville, Salem County ($32,275); Franklin Township, Somerset County ($115,567); Vernon, Sussex County ($49,274); Elizabeth, Union County ($155,789); Phillipsburg, Warren County ($30,333).
The counties receiving the largest grant awards are: Ocean ($187,903), Cumberland ($164,570), Burlington ($153,890), Bergen ($133,993) and Gloucester ($124,073).
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.
Activities funded by the grants include 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; and purchases of litter collection equipment, litter receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and supplies to remove graffiti.
For lists of municipal and county grant awards, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/cc-muni2013.pdf and http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/cc-county2013.pdf.