TOMS RIVER – Toms River recently received a Clean Communities grant for litter cleanup projects as part of the New Jersey Clean Communities program.
The Clean Communities Grant from NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) was given to Toms River Township in the amount of $209,273, the third-highest behind Jersey City and Newark.
This grant is part of a total $17.2 million in Clean Communities grants to municipalities and $2.2 million to the state’s 21 counties.
“This funding provides an additional resource for keeping our Township Clean Communities program sustainable. We are grateful for this grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and proud of the work we have done to remove litter from our streets and waterways, making Toms River a more beautiful place to live and work,” said Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher.
The Clean Communities grants help to fund cleanup projects for stormwater systems, public property, and beaches, as well as provide public information and education and purchase litter collection equipment.
Toms River plans to use its grant to pay the salaries of three Clean Communities employees and to fund equipment, educational and safety training programs and litter removal projects throughout the year.
For example, the educational component includes the Public Works Department tours and “Rocky” the Recycling Robot, who performs educational skits at Toms River Elementary schools.
“We are also excited to announce that this year the Toms River Clean Communities program will launch a brand-new water debris collection program employing the use of a vessel purchased with funds from last year’s grant,” said Kelaher.
“We have had a great relationship with the NJDEP over the years. Toms River Educational Specialist John Clark has developed a Clean Communities Excellence in education award winning program on non-point source pollution, which has been viewed by nearly 1,500 first and second grade children this year,” said Lou Amoruso, Public Works Director for the Township.
The township works hard to keep the community clean, by offering “Adopt-a-Highway” and “Adopt-a-Spot” programs, and sponsoring cleanup projects on the Township’s public lands, roadsides and beaches.
“By taking care of the environment around us, we encourage others to do the same in their own communities and build pride across the state,” said Mayor Kelaher.