Shamong Township was recently awarded a 2019 Clean Communities Grant worth more than $20,000.
The exact award grant was $20,881, just more than $2,000 more than last year.
The municipality is planning to use this grant for approximately 15 groups that collect the town’s trash along the roadways, walking paths and recreational parks, according to the township. With this grant, each group is compensated for the spring and summer clean.
“This is a big benefit for groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Indian Mills Historical Society, Indian Mills Memorial School group, Seneca Band and Knights of Columbus who volunteer their time to clean up litter in our community,” said Township Administrator Sue Onorato.
Additional funds will be used to install or maintain road signs that will recognize groups responsible for the Adopt-A-Road program along roadways and parks, provide educational programs within schools to ensure students are aware of the impact on litter and the need to recycle for the future. The funds will also reimburse the township for a portion of the costs associated with maintaining the recycling collection facility in the municipal parking area, according to the township.
According to the New Jersey Clean Communities website, municipalities and counties accepting grant funds can use them to:
- Purchase equipment to be used for picking up litter and debris
- Purchase litter receptacles and recycling bins
- Purchase anti-litter signs
- Purchase labels for storm drain
- Purchase supplies to remove graffiti
- Encourage businesses, community organizations and residents to “adopt” public property and keep it clean
- Organize and publicize cleanup days
- Sponsor contests in the schools
- Host awards programs
- Send press releases or purchase ads in newspapers
- Participate in workshops, conferences and awards programs offered by the Clean Communities Council
The program is managed by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Treasury and Clean Communities Council, according to the DEP website. This year, the DEP awarded $19.1 million to eligible municipalities and $2.4 million to the state’s 21 counties. This is a $2.2 million increase from last year, as the result of an increase in revenues, according to the website. The program is funded by a legislated user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products. Twenty-one counties and 559 municipalities are eligible to receive funding.
“Clean Communities grants provide a vital source of funding for New Jersey’s municipalities and counties. They fund cleanups, many along roadsides and around stormwater collection systems, that will protect water quality and natural resources, improving the quality of life in our communities,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe in a press release.
The nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program. Disbursements are based on housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways.
According to the website, counties receiving the largest grants are: Ocean, $218,091; Cumberland, $191,126; Burlington, $179,004; Bergen, $156,516; Gloucester, $146,629; Camden, $140,475; Monmouth, $134,389; Atlantic, $131,911; Salem, $127,248; Middlesex, $111,336; Sussex, $111,068; and Morris, $101,199.
Twenty-five percent of the grant may be saved over multiple years to use for a future equipment purchase. The statistical report must be filed each year by the June 30 deadline. The statistical report must indicate that funds are being reserved for a future purchase. Additionally, a formal request for an extension must be filed for each year’s funds that are being reserved for the purchase, according to the website.
For a complete list of municipal and county grant awards, visit www.njclean.org