DEP awards $19.4 million in annual Clean Communities grants

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The New Jersey 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, Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced June 10.

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.

“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,” 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,” council Executive Director Sandy Huber said. “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.”

Essex County will receive $68,504.47. Grants to Essex County municipalities are: $56,264.28 to Belleville, $76,332.36 to Bloomfield, $13,968.79 to Caldwell, $21,884.99 to Cedar Grove, $103,656.54 to East Orange, $5,750.01 to Essex Fells, $7,488.86 to Fairfield, $11,811.27 to Glen Ridge, $82,986.45 to Irvington, $55,487.39 to Livingston, $38,446.41 to Maplewood, $39,750.98 to Millburn, $67,855.82 to Montclair, $404,693.98 to Newark, $13,053.86 to North Caldwell, $48,616.27 to Nutley, $45,675.15 to Orange, $10,554.50 to Roseland, $27,397.56 to South Orange, $24,003.81 to Verona, $20,518.55 to West Caldwell and $73,627.62 to West Orange.