Cleanup team designated to maintain vacant and abandoned properties

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — As part of the city’s beautification initiatives, a designated “VAP” team has been deployed to clean and maintain vacant and abandoned properties throughout East Orange as part of Mayor Ted Green’s aggressive approach to abate eyesores in the community.

The Department of Code Enforcement, in collaboration with the Department of Public Works, has staffed the team to target properties — owned by the bank, the city or privately — that are vacant and have been a blight in the community. Each week, the VAP team tackles dozens of properties in all five wards.

“We want our homeowners to take pride in East Orange,” Green said. “As a community, we have to set a standard for what we want our neighborhoods to look like. This clean team is a perfect example of how to demonstrate our commitment to this effort.”

To preserve the cleanliness of East Orange’s neighborhoods, code enforcement officers also have been tasked with identifying owners who fail to upkeep their abandoned properties. Those who fail to comply can face fines of as much $2,500 per violation per day until the property is cleaned, or up to 90 days in jail.

Along with activating the cleanup crew, Green has also promoted several initiatives, including “Mayor on the Block,” where the clean team focuses on specific neighborhoods in various wards throughout the city while the mayor and his administrative team listen to and address constituent concerns. In the coming weeks, a new litter campaign titled “Love Our City” will kick off, promoting the importance of keeping public spaces clean by enforcing littering laws and fines.

For more information on the VAP team, contact the Division of Vacant and Abandoned Properties at 973-266-5320.