PATERSON, NJ – Efforts to reduce litter through Passaic County got a boost with the award of $76,917.79 by the NJ Clean Communities Council.

According to a statement by Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara, the funds will be used for litter cleanup efforts, educational programs, and enforcement of anti-littering laws.

“Of all the programs and grants for environmental cleanup, this is the only program in New Jersey that specifically targets litter abatement,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “The NJ Clean Communities grant is flexible and allows recipients to tailor their program to their exact needs.”

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The statement also touted current efforts by Passaic County to prevent excessive trash dumping including the work of a a full-time Environmental Education Specialist who travels to various schools, pre-schools, camps, recreation programs, and non-profits free of charge to instill a sense of environmental stewardship in our youth. The County also coordinates other special events with a focus on litter prevention which include performance troupes and other family-friendly activities.

The funding also enables the County Freeholders to approve mini-grants for local clean-up efforts within Passaic County.

“The County of Passaic features a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas, all of which have different litter abatement needs,” said Freeholder Assad Akhter. “The program does not prescribe methods and procedures that handcuff us in terms of what programs we can implement and fund. We are able to assess a site in need of a cleanup, and develop the most efficient action plan possible.”

Applications for Passaic County Clean Communities clean up mini-grants are available through the Passaic County Office of Solid Waste & Recycling Programs. Please contact Nina Seiden, Passaic County Solid Waste & Recycling Programs Administrator at 973-305-5738 or by emailing ninas@passaiccountynj.org.