Bayonne will receive more than $100,000 in environmental grants from the state, according to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The DEP 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 the funds distributions on June 10.
The DEP will award $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 storm water 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 protect wildlife and their habitats.”
Disbursements are based on housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways. The nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program.
For Bayonne, the DEP is distributing more than $100,525 in the annual Clean Communities grant. Funding is down compared to the last year’s Clean Communities grant for the city. In 2019, Bayonne received $110,204, $9,321 more than this year.
Meanwhile, Jersey City received $373,700, making it the second highest recipient of DEP Clean Communities grant next to Newark at $404,694. However, Jersey City was also awarded less than what it received in 2019, down more than $40,701 from the previous year’s total of $414,401.
Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council, said that 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.
“We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean,” Huber said. “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.”
According to the DEP, 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.
The DEP said people tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they lack a sense of ownership or pride in their communities.
Activities funded by Clean Communities grants include cleanups of storm water systems that can disperse trash into streams and rivers, 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.
For a complete list of municipal and county grant awards, visit www.njclean.org
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