Clean Communities

About Clean Communities

NJ Clean Communities Overview

NJ Clean CommunitiesNew Jersey Clean Communities is a statewide, comprehensive, litter-abatement program created by the passage of the Clean Communities Act in 1986. The mission is to reduce litter in public places, promote the volunteer cleanup of public lands and sustain a reduction in litter through education. The Act provides a funding source for the program by placing a tax on fifteen categories of businesses that may produce litter-generating products. The program focuses on three areas:  cleanup, education and enforcement.  For more information on the state program visit njclean.org.

Tackling the Litter Problem

What is litter? Litter is solid waste that is out of place. It’s the kind of trash found on highways, lakefronts, parks and school grounds. Litter takes many forms: paper, plastics, metal cans, cigarette butts, glass, food packaging, tires and graffiti.

Where does litter come from?There are at least seven sources of litter:  pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, overflowing commercial containers, loading docks, construction sites and uncovered trucks. Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere or goes down a storm drain.

Why do people litter?People tend to litter when they think someone else will clean up, when an area is already littered, and when they do not feel a sense of ownership or community pride.

Why is litter a problem? Even small amounts of litter are unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous. Litter causes blighted landscapes resulting in an increase in taxes and a decrease in tourism and industry; loss of civic pride and morale; and a negative public image. Litter can also cause accidents, especially on roadways, fires and disease in people and animals.

How are we solving the problem?  In addition to the efforts of local governments, residents, schools, civic associations and non-profit organizations are enlisted as volunteers to help with cleanup events. At these cleanup events we offer education to volunteers while they pick up litter so they become environmental stewards. With education, acts of littering can be changed!

Education

Education is communication in a more complex form.  It aims to change the attitudes that cause littering. The basic premise of the New Jersey Clean Communities program is to change habits so residents do not litter, bring their own reusable bags when shopping, skip the straw, and other sustainable practices.  A long-term education program will teach both residents and visitors the ramifications of littering and ways to work together to prevent litter from affecting our state.

Important Links

Cleanups

Help us keep Salem County clean!  A variety of volunteer opportunities are available whether you’re a resident, business, civic association, school or non-profit organization.

COVID-19 Litter Cleanup Protocol

Please Note: Volunteers must adhere to the following cleanup guidelines :

  • Volunteers must maintain social distance of at least 6 ft. and wear face masks when necessary;
  • The number of volunteers must be limited to 10 in any one location;
  • The addition of face masks, gloves, trash and recycling bags, trash pickers, safety vests and hand sanitizer must be available to volunteers.

One Day Cleanup Event

Civic groups, volunteer organizations, churches and scout troops, as well as residents and businesses, are encouraged to participate in a joint effort to clean up our streets and public properties. 

NJ Clean Communities

Clean Communities Grant

Clean Communities Grant funding provides for the clean-up of litter of our County roadways on Saturdays in May and September.

If your group is a non-profit group and you’d like to earn $300.00 to perform a clean-up on one of our County roadways, please contact Sherry Washington – – for more information on this program.

Bag up NJ

Bag Up NJ

On Nov. 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted the most progressive bag ban law in the country. The law reduces litter and encourages the use of reusable bags by phasing out single-use carryout bags.

The law bans single-use plastic bags, regardless of thickness, at grocery stores and retail establishments, as well as paper bags at grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet. It also bans polystyrene foam takeout food containers and other products such as plates, cups, food trays and utensils. As of November 4, 2021, plastic straws will only be available upon request.

The “Bag Up NJ” campaign is the New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s new single use plastic and paper bag ban outreach campaign, which has a simple message: Bring your own reusable bag(s) when you shop.

For more information on the NJ Bag Ban Law, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/

For information on Business Compliance please contact the New Jersey Business Action Center – https://business.nj.gov/recent/disposable-bag-ban

Important date infographic
skip the straw

Keep It Covered

The “KEEP IT COVERED!” tarp program, in conjunction with the Salem County Improvement Authority / Solid Waste Division’s convenience center, assists Salem County residents in eliminating windblown litter along our county roadways when transporting their bulk waste for disposal.

Residents will be able to deliver materials that accumulate from cleaning out the garage, attic or a do-it-yourself project around the home to the convenience center, for a minimal fee. The convenience center will be open for services to all Salem County residents with a valid NJ drivers license listing an in-county address.

Residents can transport their own bulk materials, but the load must be TARPED. This is in accordance with the New Jersey Solid Waste Management Act and the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice that requires all open vehicles traveling with solid waste to be tarped in order to avoid spillage onto the roadways.

Tarps, size 8’ x 10’ , have been purchased with Clean Communities Grant monies and are available at the convenience center, free of charge, to be used for the purpose of covering their load of waste.

Tarps are available through each municipality to assist residents in minimizing windblown litter within their municipalities also.

Contact the township clerk for information.

PROHIBITED WASTE

  • ASBESTOS: Asbestos material is classified as a hazardous material and must be transported by a licensed hauler as a recommended procedure.
  • HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE: Hazardous wastes in the house usually come from ordinary products such as oil-based paints, automotive products, cleaning fluids, solvents and garden care products. These products cannot be disposed of with your regular trash through the convenience center. The Salem County Improvement Authority – Solid Waste Division offers a FREE drop-off program for household hazardous waste twice a year on the third Saturday in April and October, 8am to 12 noon.
  • USED MOTOR OIL: Used motor oil can be recycled at your local municipal drop off location. If your municipality does not have a drop off location, please call your local Township Clerk, Municipal Recycling Coordinator or the County Recycling Coordinator for the nearest location.
  • RECYCLABLES: The following recyclables will not be accepted.
    • Glass (all colors)
    • Plastic bottles
    • Aluminum cans
    • Bi-Metal/Steel cans
    • Paper
    • Newspaper
    • Cardboard
  • Recycling services are provided by each municipality in conjunction with trash pick up or drop off.

IT’S THE LAW!

All the residents MUST comply with the law by covering their load with a tarp when delivering their bulk waste materials.

Under the NJAC section 7:26-3.4 paragraph (e) and (i), the law states:

  • No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to be so loaded or operate so loaded that the contents or any part thereof, may be scattered on any street. Whenever a load in any vehicle is of solid waste debris, such loads shall be secured by a tarpaulin or other acceptable type of cover.
  • The owner, lessee, bailer, or operator of any vehicle described above found on a highway in violation of any such safety standards or procedure shall be subject to a fine as prescribed by the law.

QUESTIONS? Contact your Municipality Manager, Superintendent or Clean Communities Coordinator

NO TARP – NO SERVICE!

A great big thank you to Girl Scout Troop 94082
for the Alloway Lake cleanup!

Thank You Mini-Grant Program Participants!

We would like to extend a big thank you to the non-profit groups who participated in our Mini-Grant Program this year. Litter doesn’t take time off for the coronavirus and, even thought things looked a little different, our roads throughout the county got a much needed cleaned up.

If you are a non-profit group and would like to be put on the list for the next clean up in either May or September, please contact Assistant Clean Communities Coordinator Sherry Washington at 856-935-7900 x21.

We are always looking for new groups to help keep Salem County Clean and Green.

yellow trash bags in bag of pickup Volunteers wearing neon green jackets

Report Illegal Dumping

“Public lands all over New Jersey are being used as dumping grounds. Litter, garbage bags, tires, televisions, electronic waste, appliances, yard waste, and construction debris are being dumped and threatening our local environment, animals and public. This dumping detracts from the natural beauty of our public lands; it decreases property value, and costs the citizens of New Jersey tax dollars to cleanup.”
-NJDEP

“There’s an app for that!” 

The NJDEP offers a free and easy to use app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone device. Click on the following link and start reporting illegal dumping sites in New Jersey – https://www.stopdumping.nj.gov/instructions.htm

Scan QR code to report illegal dumpingScan with your smart phone to report illegal dumping.
Report illegal dumping

SHOUT OUT TO THE SALEM COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

This past August, Alloway residents who live on Cobbs Mill Road near the intersection with Earnest Garton Road were dismayed to discover that a contractor had illegally dumped a large amount of construction debris near the creek. The residents alerted the Salem County Health Department, and they began their investigation.

This incident proved to be tricky because there were no identifying pieces of mail or any other evidence to indicate who dumped the debris. However, through excellent detective work, the Health Department was able to identify the contractor responsible. A fine was imposed and that company will not risk illegal dumping in Salem County again!

Inspectors with the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services credit the community in helping to resolve this matter through their vigilance and effective communication.

REMEMBER: Illegal dumping is a crime and nearly impossible to get away with. Fines can be as high as $1,000. Don’t risk it. Dispose of trash and debris properly at your curbside for pickup by your municipality or bring it to the Salem County Landfill for proper processing.

If you witness illegal dumping, please call the Salem County Health Department or the Salem County Improvement Authority immediately so that action can be taken to keep Salem County Clean and Green!