Clean Communities

ABOUT CLEAN COMMUNITIES

NJ Clean Communities Overview

New Jersey Clean Communities is a statewide, comprehensive, litter-abatement program created by the passage of the Clean Communities Act in 1986. The mission is to reduce litter in public places, promote the volunteer cleanup of public lands and sustain a reduction in litter through education. The Act provides a funding source for the program by placing a tax on fifteen categories of businesses that may produce litter-generating products. The program focuses on three areas:  cleanup, education and enforcement.  For more information on the state program visit njclean.org.

Tackling the Litter Problem

What is litter? Litter is solid waste that is 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 litter come from? There are at least seven sources of litter:  pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, overflowing commercial containers, loading docks, construction sites and uncovered trucks. Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere or goes down a storm drain.

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 accidents, especially on roadways, fires and disease in people and animals. 

How are we solving the problem?  In addition to the efforts of local governments, residents, schools, civic associations and non-profit organizations are enlisted as volunteers to help with cleanup events. At these cleanup events we offer education to volunteers while they pick up litter so they become environmental stewards. With education, acts of littering can be changed!

SUSSEX COUNTY CLEAN COMMUNITIES PROGRAM

Sussex County Clean Communities program is part of a statewide strategy to clean and prevent litter on streets, beaches, waterways, parks, recreation sites and vacant lots.  Clean Communities Grant funding is used for educational programs, supporting clean up events and implementing adopt-a-road and mini-grant programs.

 

IMPORTANT LINKS

State NJCC Website: www.njclean.org

State Bag Up NJ Website: www.bagupnj.com

NJDEP Single Use Plastics Website: https://www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/

Sign Up for NJCC Newsletter: https://njclean.org/register-for-web-news

NJCC Certification Training: http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/courses/current/er0400ca.html

 

CLEANUPS

Help us keep Sussex County clean!  A variety of volunteer opportunities are available whether you’re a resident, business, civic association, school or non-profit organization.

Please Note: Volunteers must adhere to the following cleanup guidelines :

  • Volunteers must maintain social distance of at least 6 ft. and wear face masks when necessary;
  • The number of volunteers must be limited to 10 in any one location; 
  • The addition of face masks, gloves, trash and recycling bags, trash pickers, safety vests and hand sanitizer must be available to volunteers.

One Day Cleanup Event Civic groups, volunteer organizations, churches and scout troops, as well as residents and businesses, are encouraged to participate in a joint effort to clean up our streets and public properties. For more information contact the Clean Communities Coordinator at 973-579-0370.

Sparta Cleanup

Mini Grants are available to any school group or non-profit association in return for cleaning up designated public areas.  Groups are eligible to receive a stipend which is dependent on the number of volunteers.  Equipment and supplies are available to volunteers.  Mini-Grants are issued while funds are available. Please fill out the application here:

Mini-Grant Application (Print-Out)

Individual Release Form (Print-Out)

Summary Report Form (Print-Out)

Summary Report Form (Fill Online)

 

Safety - the safety of our volunteers is important.  Please review safety protocols before conducting any cleanup programs and encourage volunteers to watch the NJCCC safety video:

https://njclean.org/aag-individual-safety-video

 

EDUCATION

Education is communication in a more complex form.  It aims to change the attitudes that cause littering. The basic premise of the New Jersey Clean Communities program is to change habits so residents do not litter, bring their own reusable bags when shopping, skip the straw, and other sustainable practices.  A long-term education program will teach both residents and visitors the ramifications of littering and ways to work together to prevent litter from affecting our state.

School Programs/Virtual Events/Community

Assistance available for in school or virtual programs. Litter education at Earth Day at SCMUA and Sussex County Day.

 

ENFORCEMENT

Report littering to the Sussex County Division of Health 973-579-0370 or your local Police department.

New Jersey Single Use Plastic Ban Law:

https://www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/docs/plastic-bag-law-c117.pdf

 

BAG UP NJ

Choose To Reuse NJ

On Nov. 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted the most progressive bag ban law in the country. The law reduces litter and encourages the use of reusable bags by phasing out single-use carryout bags. 

The law bans single-use plastic bags, regardless of thickness, at grocery stores and retail establishments, as well as paper bags at grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet. It also bans polystyrene foam takeout food containers and other products such as plates, cups, food trays and utensils.  As of November 4, 2021, plastic straws will only be available upon request.

The "Bag Up NJ" campaign is the New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s new single use plastic and paper bag ban outreach campaign, which has a simple message: Bring your own reusable bag(s) when you shop.

What can you do

 

For more information on the NJ Bag Ban Law, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/

For information on Business Compliance please contact the New Jersey Business Action Center https://business.nj.gov/recent/disposable-bag-ban

 

REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING

The Problem:

"Public lands all over New Jersey are being used as dumping grounds. Litter, garbage bags, tires, televisions, electronic waste, appliances, yard waste, and construction debris are being dumped and threatening our local environment, animals and public. This dumping detracts from the natural beauty of our public lands; it decreases property value, and costs the citizens of New Jersey tax dollars to cleanup."
 -NJDEP

"There's an app for that!" 

The NJDEP offers a free and easy to use app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone device. Click on the link below and start reporting illegal dumping sites in New Jersey.

https://www.stopdumping.nj.gov/instructions.htm

https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/7091

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