Millions of dollars in state grants are on the way to Jersey Shore municipalities to fund litter cleaning efforts, state officials said.
It’s part of a New Jersey Department of Enviromental’s “Clean Communities” grant program that helps municipalities and counties undertake clean-up efforts to beautify the state.
“Simple initiatives such as litter control go a long way to making our communities healthier, stronger, and more sustainable,” said Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management. “This year’s increase in Clean Communities grants will allow New Jersey to continue fostering environmental stewardship at the local level as means to a more sustainable future.”
The state is awarding $23.7 million in grants to New Jersey municipalities and counties, of which millions are heading to Jersey Shore communities, a DEP release states. The four Jersey Shore counties will receive a total of slightly more than $600,000, with Ocean receiving a grant of nearly $245,000, to assist with countywide litter control programs.
Some of the municipalities receiving the highest grants include Egg Harbor Township in Atlantic County ($119,167.77), Ocean City in Cape May County ($109,075.74), Middletown in Monmouth County ($175,892.29), and Toms River in Ocean County ($257,441.64).
According to the DEP, the municipal grants are based on the number of housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways within each community.
The nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program, which is funded by a user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors that produce litter-generating products.
“We are thrilled that funding for communities has increased this year,” said Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “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.”
See the specific grants to counties and municipalities here.