PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, NJ – The township is among the top municipalities in the state when it comes to being awarded Clean Communities grants from the state this year, it was announced today.

Parsippany-Troy Hills will receive a $104,355 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) pot of $19.4 million earmarked for the annual program, said the DEP. It will receive more grant money than any other Morris County town, according to the state.

The grants “help municipalities and counties remove litter to beautify neighborhoods, improve water quality and enhance quality of life,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe.

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The program is funded by a user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products.

“Clean Communities grants help municipalities and counties with the important task of removing unsightly litter, often from roadways and around stormwater collection systems, to enhance quality of life,” McCabe said. “Beautifying our communities through these types of cleanups help improve water quality and natural resources while also protecting wildlife and their habitats.”

According to the DEP, the reporting requirements for the program are overseen by the nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council. Disbursements are based on housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways, it explained.

“Municipalities and counties are strongly encouraged to use these grants to pay for volunteer and paid cleanups, badly-needed equipment purchases, enforcement activities and education,” said Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean. We are proud to serve as an educational resource for communities, as we drive many of our campaigns to engage the younger generations to help mold positive, long-term behaviors toward discarding litter.”

Newark will get the biggest grant: $404,694.

“Litter comes from a variety of sources, such as pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks,” noted the DEP. “Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, such as along a fence, or in a ditch or gully. People tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they lack a sense of ownership or pride in their community.”

The state said activities funded by Clean Communities grants include buying litter collection equipment such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and graffiti removal supplies.

Cleanups of stormwater systems - that can spread trash into streams, rivers and bays – are also funded with the money. Also important recipients of the dollars are volunteer cleanups of public properties, adoption and enforcement of local anti-littering ordinances, cleanups of beaches and programs that teach about the importance of litter prevention and removal.