BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Cool  weather, bright blue skies with the sun peeking out from the clouds provided the perfect day for the Suburban Chamber of Commerce's annual Slam Dunk the Junk event on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Hundreds of folks from around town gathered outside the library in the parking lot on Hamilton Avenue to participate in Clean Communities Clean Up Day. The event, which ran from 9 a.m. to noon, sent teams of volunteers in orange T-shirts, representing all sorts of different groups in the township, to the furthest reaches of Berkeley Heights. 

Three crews from Governor Livingston High School Football team went out and cleaned up the Deserted Village, Seeley's Pond and the high school grounds.

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The GL Interact Club was dispatched to clean up the area of  Roosevelt and Plainfield Avenues.

Members of a crew from Seton Hall University took on the job of Snyder Avenue to River Road.

Running the show were Jim Dimaio and Karen Hadley. Other volunteers came from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other local organizations.

First organized in 1988 as an event during May Pride month, it was switched to the fall about 15 years ago. Each organization designates a group to receive a donation of $10 per volunteer, as a token of appreciation for their work.

The objective is to clean up the litter on all the township's public lands -- including the downtown and all the parks. No one is asked to clean up private land or parking lots. Each year tons of trash are picked up by the volunteers -- enough to fill a huge garbage truck. Items too difficult to be removed are marked out and a crew from the DPW is assigned to bring in those large items.