The New Jersey Clean Communities Council joined forces with corporate volunteers, city officials, and hundreds of local schoolchildren for the 13th annual "Slam Dunk the Junk" program, held today at Lincoln Park on Broad Street, and other sites across the city.

“This has become a great tradition in the City of Newark,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “For 13 years, it has showcased our determination to make our beloved Newark a cleaner city. 

“Residents of all ages and a variety of community organizations come together to remove trash from our streets and plant flowers, and physically transform the face and streetscape of Newark, creating a visible City we can all believe in. I congratulate all the participants for a decade of teamwork and partnership on this important annual event.”

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At Lincoln Park, the children used large, clear bags and rakes to clean up leaves and trash from the park, as music piped in from a DJ on a large stage.  The kids danced, ran, and sweated as they worked, competing to see who could clean the park the quickest. Meanwhile, they were visited by none other than Batman and Batwoman, who arrived in a modern-day Batmobile. The kids gathered around the car, eager to get autographs and photos with the masked crusaders. Later, Batwoman grabbed a rake and joined the kids in the cleanup.

Newark’s Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services provided equipment for the cleanup crews. Awards were given to teams of volunteers that removed the most litter, as well as those who found the most interesting, educational, or unusual way to pick up trash.

Newark students made quick work of fall cleaning at NJCCC's "Slam Dunk the Junk" community cleanup drive.

“The Newark cleanup is part of a highly successful series of urban cleanups hosted by the New Jersey Clean Communities Council," said NJCCC Executive Director Sandy Huber. "It fosters cooperation of government agencies, community organizations, schools, and businesses in cleaning up litter."

Event sponsors included the State Department of Environmental Protection, Essex County, the Greater Newark Conservancy, Integrity House, Panasonic, Ace Environmental Services, Covanta Energy Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, ShopRite, the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Investors Bank, NJ Transit, Sims Metal Management, PSE&G, Waste Management of New Jersey, Anheuser-Busch, and Newark Public and Charter Schools.

Coca-Cola provided volunteers from its facilities in South Brunswick and Carlstadt, along with bottled water for volunteers.

“Coca-Cola is a proud partner of the NJCC Council for more than 12 years,” said Michael Sullivan, Vice President of Coca-Cola Sales Operations. “This cleanup demonstrates our commitment as a company to creating sustainable, clean environments for the residents and businesses in urban areas such as Newark and throughout the state.”