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Urban Cleanup Team

The Clean Communities Council officially launched a statewide Urban Cleanup Team (UCT) project in the spring of 2004 following the release of a statewide, Visual Litter Survey. The survey concluded that that the amount of litter visible on roadways in urban areas in New Jersey is significantly greater than in other areas of the state, due to dense populations. The UCT project encourages municipalities located in densely populated areas to join the “team” and work together for a cleaner New Jersey.

The first town-wide urban cleanup organized by the Clean Communities Council was the “Gateway to a Cleaner Community” cleanup, renamed in 2007 “Gateway to a Cleaner Newark.” The Gateway Cleanup was based on a model created by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Trenton in 1989. Trenton’s “Litter March” attracts over 1,000 participants every year.

City of Trenton 1988-Present
purple team

Criteria for Membership

Municipality must—

  • Municipality must be located in a densely populated area where litter tends to accumulate;
  • Implement a broad-based Clean Communities program involving cleanup, enforcement and education;
  • Submit statistical reports in a timely fashion;
  • Organize at least one community-wide volunteer cleanup at every year in conjunction with the Clean Communities Council; and
  • Demonstrate the support of the mayor and other public officials.

The 2004 litter survey stated that a high-profile advertising campaign would be the best way to reduce and sustain a reduction in litter. The Clean Communities Council promoted a low budget Slam Dunk the Junk campaign that is popular in urban areas and statewide. Golden Broom Awards are a trademark of the UCT program.

City of Newark (2004-Present)

Newark golden broom 2004 


City of Paterson (2004-Present)

paterson clean

Atlantic City (2009)

slam dunk junk 


Team Members

Asbury Park
Atlantic City
East Orange
Jersey City
New Brunswick
Perth Amboy

New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc.

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. is the 501c3 nonprofit that works closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Department of Treasury to administer the Clean Communities program. The Clean Communities Council began as an advisory committee to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Communities program in 1989. In 1995, in the face of state budget cuts that virtually eliminated the state positions that provided program oversight and statewide education for the program, the advisory committee sought and received nonprofit status; and became the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc.