EAST ORANGE, NJ, - East Orange Mayor Ted Green and the East Orange City Council, along with over 500 volunteers, took to the streets to clean up targeted neighborhoods throughout East Orange during the Earth Day Citywide Clean-Up on Sat, April 21, 2018. The event was coordinated under the direction of the Department of Public Works.
Approximately 40 teams comprised of employees, residents, non-profit groups, business owners, students and friends, gathered at City Hall Plaza at 8am to pick up tools and supplies before heading out to address identified problem areas throughout the city. According to DPW Director Christopher Coke, more than 300 bags of garbage and 100 bags of recyclables were collected.
For the first time, East Orange also partnered with the City of Orange Township and the City of Newark to concentrate clean-up efforts at the cities’ neighboring borders. Other targeted areas included Brick Church Train Station, the Teen Streets, East Orange Campus High School, and Oval Park.
Included among the hundreds of participants were a group of Comcast employees who volunteered for Comcast Cares Day, one of the nation's largest single-day corporate volunteer efforts. Also in attendance were Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, Essex County Chairman LeRoy Jones, Essex County Freeholder Rufus Johnson and Newark Councilmembers Eddie Osbourne and Joseph McCallum.
“This was an historic turnout for a clean-up and I want to thank everyone who came from near and far to help us clean up East Orange,” said Mayor Green. “The cleanliness of our city is one of my administration’s top priorities and I am excited to know that we’ve got the community behind our efforts. But this is just the first of many! We are planning another clean-up at the end of the summer and we encourage everyone to do their part every single day to keep our city clean.”
East Orange City Council Chair and 2nd Ward Councilman Romal Bullock was extremely pleased with the outpouring of support. “I wish we could name and personally thank every single individual and group that participated on Saturday, but I would never want to risk leaving someone out. People came out in droves like never before to do their share and to set an example for other residents to follow,” said Bullock. “As Mayor Green said, this is the first of many citywide clean-ups and I am looking forward to keeping the momentum going all year round.”
In a befitting closing to the day’s activity, the clean-up ended with a special Tree-Planting Ceremony at Hillcrest Terrace and Mountainview Avenue in honor of the late Armelia Grooms, beloved civic leader and retired employee of the City of East Orange.