Toms River Receives Third-Largest Clean Communities Grant

Volunteers and Clean Communities personnel clean over 5 tons of trash for the Barnegat Bay blitz on June 7. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)
Volunteers and Clean Communities personnel clean over 5 tons of trash for the Barnegat Bay blitz on June 7. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)

TOMS RIVER – The township is a little cleaner thanks to a grant from the New Jersey Clean Communities program.

Toms River received the third-largest grant in the state—just behind Jersey City and Newark—of $232,912.

The money went toward cleanups of storm water systems, public property and beaches. It funded public information and education programs such as tours of the Public Works Department and “Tom the Duck,” an educational program geared toward young elementary school students.

The money also purchases of litter collection equipment, receptacles, recycling bins, signs, and supplies to clean graffiti. Those items are not only used by township employees but volunteers throughout the year, including for programs such as “Adopt a Highway” and “Adopt a Spot.”

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That grant money will also pay the salaries of three clean communities employees.

Tom the Duck visits with St Joseph Grade School in Toms River. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)
Tom the Duck visits with St Joseph Grade School in Toms River. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)

“The residents of Toms River take a tremendous amount of pride in preserving and protecting our open space. 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,” Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher said.

“We have had a great relationship with the NJ Clean Communities over the years. Toms River Clean Communities has received 6 awards in the past 5 years ranging from clean streets to excellence in education. Our Township crew and volunteers have cleaned up over 55 tons of trash this past year from roads and public lands. This very much has improved our town’s quality of life,” Director of Public Works Lou Amoroso said.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection awarded $21.5 million in Clean Communities grants to municipalities and counties throughout the state.

“Simple initiatives such as litter control go a long way to making our town healthier and more sustainable.  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,” Kelaher said.