MONROE TOWNSHIP – Municipal officials in Monroe Township have announced that the township is the recipient of a $94,059 Clean Communities grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Solid Waste Division.
Clean Communities grants are intended to help municipalities and counties promote volunteer and paid cleanup events, purchase equipment, and support enforcement activities and educational opportunities, according to a press release from the township.
“The Township Council and I strive to move toward a cleaner, greener future for Monroe
Township,” said Mayor Stephen Dalina. “Our Department of Public Works conducts numerous programs aimed at keeping our town litter-free throughout the year. It is through programs like Clean Communities that we are able to help keep our streets, open space, recreation areas and township grounds clear of litter and debris.”
This year’s grant reflects an increase of nearly $9,000 from the grant received in 2020. Monroe Township is the sixth largest recipient in Middlesex County. The grant award allows the township to continue to improve upon its ongoing community engagement and education initiatives, according to the press release.
“Monroe has consistently been one of the top municipalities in the state in regard to fighting litter,” said JoAnn Gemenden, executive director, New Jersey Clean Communities Council.
“We work closely with Joe Slomian to ensure state funds are continually maximized to
develop and implement anti-litter education and programming in Monroe, as well as to
coordinate local cleanups,” she said. “We are confident Joe and his team will use the
$9,000 increase this year in a smart, strategic way to further expand the mission in Monroe.”
This summer the Clean Communities grant helped to fund a new summer employment program through the Department of Public Works called the Monroe Clean Communities Clean Team, according to the press release.
The Clean Team consists of two residents 18 years of age and older who spend 12 hours a
week picking up litter along Monroe Township’s road, parks and open spaces throughout the summer months.
In addition, municipal officials offer Monroe-based nonprofit and community service groups through a mini-grant program that offers $500 per group for running localized cleanup efforts. Interested organizations can register for litter patrol opportunities at township approved sites by contacting Joe Slomian at 732-656-4575.
“Litter comes from many sources and these grants help us to organize community programs that educate the public about proper trash disposal, reducing waste and the environmental impacts of litter,” said Slomian.
Through the grant program, the DEP issued more than $19.4 million to municipalities and counties across the state, basing its allocations on statistical reports that outline the number of housing units and municipally owned road mileage in a respective area.
Grants are funded by a legislated user fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products, according to the press release.