Township gets grant for ‘Clean Community’

Staff Writer

Township gets grant
for ‘Clean Community’
Staff Writer

EDISON — Clean it up!

That is the purpose of a recent $82,731 grant the township got from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Communities Program.

State Sen. Barbara Buono, Assemblymen Peter J. Barnes Jr. and Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. proclaimed last week that Edison announced today that six towns in Middlesex County were awarded a total of $179,994.36 in Clean Communities Program funding. The $82,731 that Edison got was the largest grant doled out.

The money from Clean Communities can be "used to finance litter abatement and education programs, adopt-a-highway (beautification) campaigns and graffiti cleanups," Clean Communities literature said.

The funds for the grant came from a special tax on items, which cause the most amount of litter, such as fast food containers, cigarettes and soft drinks.

The program started in 1988 and ran until 2000 when it was put out of commission, literature on Clean Communities said. It was brought back in 2003 and, again, is funded by an assessment on the manufacture of "litter generating" products. On average, the fund for the program is expected to generate about $14 million a year for the local and county arms of the program, information on the state DEP Web site said.

To qualify for the grant money, a town must commit to a certain amount of annual cleanups, specific adopt-a-highway initiatives, improved trash receptacles, antilitter signage and public education to get the word out that any town involved is a "Clean Community."

"These funds will allow municipalities to sustain a more beautiful and healthy environment for all residents of the 18th District," Sen. Buono said in a prepared statement .