Sunday, July 23, 2017

N.J. awards $20.8 million in grants for litter cleanup

New Jersey announced the winners of $20.8 million in Clean Communities grants on Wednesday, money that will be used to fund litter cleanup and beautification efforts in counties and municipalities across the state.

The bulk of the money, $18.4 million, has been awarded to eligible municipalities, while the remaining funds will be divvied up between all of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The capital for the grants comes from a user-fee on businesses that create the products that eventually become litter, and the program’s reporting requirements are overseen by New Jersey Clean Communities, a non-profit entity.

“We are thrilled that funding for communities has increased this year,” Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Sandy Huber said. “Municipalities and counties will use it wisely to pay for volunteer and paid cleanups, badly needed equipment purchases, enforcement activities and education. We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean.”

The grants will be used across the state on a range of projects, including cleaning up stormwater systems, beach cleanups, and the adoption and enforcement of anti-littering ordinances.

Newark led the municipalities in terms of money awarded, with $432,292, while the county receiving the most funds is Ocean, with $215,381. 

“These grants are important because they help beautify our communities, protect our natural resources and enhance our quality of life,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “A litter-free environment helps build pride in municipalities throughout the state.”

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