New Jersey Clean Communities
New Jersey Clean Communities is a statewide, comprehensive, litter-abatement program created by the passage of the Clean Communities Act in 1986. The Act provides a funding source for the program by placing a tax on fifteen categories of businesses that may produce litter-generating products. The Clean Communities Program Fund generates about $ 20 million each year and is disbursed each year to municipalities (80%), counties (10%), state parks service (10%), and the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. ($375,000).
The Act also provides guidelines on the use of funds. Municipalities and counties must implement litter abatement programs that incorporate the elements of cleanup, enforcement and education. Municipalities and counties must file statistical reports with the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. every grant year. Statistical reports track the expenditure of funds and the progress of local programs.
The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. (NJCCC) 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.
Now in its 13th consecutive year, the Clean Communities Council oversees the implementation of litter abatement programs in 558 municipalities and 21 counties, collects statistical reports, maintains a data base of information that tracks local programs, and implements a statewide program of public information and education that targets Clean Communities coordinators, schools, and the general public. The Clean Communities Council also administers New Jersey’s Adopt-a-Beach and Adopt-a- Highway programs.