July 2013 Featured Article
Grant Funding From the New Jersey Litter Abatement Program
The Clean Communities Act of 1986, New Jersey’s statewide
litter-abatement program, gives municipalities the opportunity to be designated
as Clean Communities. This designation allows local governments to receive
funding that can be targeted at programs meant to clean up public lands, enforce
anti-litter laws and educate children and adults about litter. Program dollars
may also be applied to a variety of uses including trash and graffiti removal,
supplies and equipment, receptacles and recycling bins and facilitating local
cleanup campaigns, contests and events.
The Clean Communities grants are supported by a user fee placed
on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors who may produce litter generating
products. These funds are first collected by the state’s Department of Treasury
and held in the state’s Recycling Fund before the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) disperses them in the form of recycling tonnage grants. The
grants are issued on an annual basis.
Eligibility for receiving recycling tonnage grants requires that
municipalities meet the following five criteria:
- Designation of a Clean Communities coordinator;
- Formal organization of volunteer cleanups of public properties;
- Adoption and enforcement of antilittering ordinances;
- Development of a public information and education program; and,
- Recycling recyclable litter.
In addition to these requirements, participating municipalities
are expected to make a concerted effort to involve businesses, community
organizations, schools and residents in programs and projects.
Upon receiving these funds, each Clean Community is required to
submit statistical reports annually to the Clean Communities Council. Reports
may be emailed to email@example.com,
faxed to (609) 989-9066 or mailed to 479 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey
08618. The deadline for the expenditure of funds as established by the DEP is
June 30 of the next calendar year.
Like all grant programs, municipalities have an opportunity to
interact with program managers to fund purchases and initiatives that may be
outside of the typical types of clean community projects. It pays to be
creative! In these days of scarce grant funding, every opportunity that
municipalities have to be creative with the programs available is vitally
Given that funding from the Clean Communities Program comes in
part through the level of recycling done at the municipal level, it is also
important that municipalities spend the time necessary to promote recycling and
enhance the tonnage collected. The more your community recycles, the greater
your eligibility for funding. Be aggressive. Be inventive. Make your
community a leader in green initiatives and recycling.
By focusing on increasing your
community’s recycling effort and talking with program administrators about
creative ways to spend program dollars, communities can maximize the impact of
those funding sources available. That perspective is more important every
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