Clean Communities Program
Clean Communities Coordinator
Steven J. Neale - Terms ends 12/31/23
Phone: (973) 239-4921
Location: Verona Town Hall, 600 Bloomfield Ave.
Hours: 8:30AM - 4:30PM
New Jersey Clean Communities is a statewide litter-abatement program created by the passage of the Clean Communities Act. The program is managed by the (New Jersey) Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Treasury, and Clean Communities Council. It’s supported by local governments, businesses, community organizations, schools and individuals who work together to keep New Jersey clean.
The Clean Communities Act, passed first in 1986 and later in 2002, establishes a funding mechanism for the program by placing a user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors who may produce litter-generating products. The user-fee, collected by the Department of Treasury and disbursed by the Department of Environment Protection, generates approximately $20 million each year.
- $375,000 is disbursed to a nonprofit (currently the Clean Communities Council) for the implementation of statewide education related to litter-abatement.
- Of the balance, 80 percent goes to 559 municipalities, 10 percent goes to 21 counties, and 10 percent goes to the Division of Parks and Forestry located in the Department of Environmental Protection.
New Jersey Clean Communities at the local level involves a three-fold attack on litter: cleanup, enforcement and education.
Tackling the Litter Problem
What is litter? Litter is solid waste that’s out of place. It’s the kind of trash found on highways, lakefronts, parks and school grounds. Litter takes many forms: paper, plastics, metal cans, cigarette butts, glass, food packaging, tires and graffiti.
Where does it come from? There are seven sources of litter: pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks. Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, as along a fence.
Why do people litter? People tend to litter when they think someone else will clean up, when an area is already littered, and when they do not feel a sense of ownership or community pride.
Why is litter a problem? Even small amounts of litter are unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous. Litter causes blighted landscapes resulting in an increase in taxes and a decrease in tourism and industry; loss of civic pride and morale; and a negative public image. Litter can also cause disease in people and animals, fires, and accidents, especially on roadways.
How are we solving the problem? The majority of the Clean Communities Program Fund is allocated to local governments, so it is incumbent upon those agencies to carry out effective litter abatement programs. Those programs should include the volunteer cleanup of public lands, enforcement of anti-litter laws, and education of children and adults.
- More coming soon!