KINNELON, NJ – The Department of Environmental Protection is awarding $19.4 million in annual Clean Communities grants to help municipalities and counties remove litter to beautify neighborhoods, improve water quality and enhance quality of life, and some of that money is coming to Kinnelon.
In total, the DEP is awarding $17.3 million to eligible municipalities and $2.1 million to the state’s 21 counties. The program is funded by a legislated user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products.
In Kinnelon that equates to a $21,117.53 payday
“Clean Communities grants help municipalities and counties with the important task of removing unsightly litter, often from roadways and around stormwater collection systems, to enhance quality of life,” Commissioner McCabe said. “Beautifying our communities through these types of cleanups help improve water quality and natural resources while also protecting wildlife and their 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 pay for volunteer and paid cleanups, badly-needed equipment purchases, enforcement activities and education,” said Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean. 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 behaviors toward discarding litter.”
Litter comes from a variety of sources, such as 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 pride in their community.
Activities funded by Clean Communities 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 such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and graffiti removal supplies.