MONROE – Monroe is on its way towards “a cleaner, greener future.”
That is what Mayor Stephen Dalina said as the township is the recipient of a Clean Communities grant totaling $105,240.47 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Solid Waste Division, according to a township press release on June 2.
Clean Communities grants are intended to help municipalities and counties across New Jersey promote volunteer and paid clean-up events, purchase equipment, support enforcement activities and educational opportunities.
Through the grant program, the NJDEP awarded nearly $19.1 million to eligible municipalities and $2.3 million to counties across the state, basing its allocations on statistical reports that outline the number of housing units and municipally owned roadway 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.
“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 can keep our streets, open space, recreation areas and township grounds clear of litter and debris,” Dalina said.
This year’s grant reflects an increase of $11,000 from the grant the township received in 2021.
Monroe Township is the fourth-largest recipient in all of Middlesex County and one of the largest in the state. The grant award allows the township to continue to improve upon its ongoing community engagement and education initiatives.
“Monroe has consistently been one of the top municipalities in the state in regard to fighting litter,” said JoAnn Gemenden, executive director of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “We work closely with Monroe Township officials to ensure that state funds are continually maximized to develop and implement anti-litter education and programming in Monroe, as well as to coordinate local clean-ups.
“We are confident that Monroe Township will use the increased funding in a smart, strategic way,” she said.
The township has awarded more than $4,000 so far – funded by the Clean Communities grant – to Monroe-based non-profit and community-service groups through its mini-grant program that offers $500 per group for running localized clean-up efforts.
Interested organizations can register for litter patrol opportunities at township approved sites by contacting Clean Communities Coordinator, Joe Slomian at 732-656-4575.
For more information about NJDEP’s Clean Communities grant visit www.njclean.org.