The Township of West Milford has been awarded $72,394 in financial help for participation in New Jersey’s Clean Communities program. Grants are awarded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) annually to provide financial assistance to the township, other municipalities and counties, for implementation of litter abatement programs.
JoAnn Blom, chairperson of the West Milford Beautification and Recycling Committee, praised the leadership efforts of local Recycling Coordinator Dave Stires in his ongoing efforts to earn such grants and dedicating his efforts to keeping the community streets, roads, and roadsides beautiful.
State Commissioner Shawn M. Latourette said the NJDEP is enhancing statewide efforts to remove litter, beautify neighborhoods, and improve water quality across the state by distributing $21.4 million in Clean Communities grants this year, an approximate $700,000 increase over last year’s disbursement.
Clean community grants are funded by a legislated fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributers that produce litter-generating products.
You may have seen some of the West Milford volunteers along roadsides on past cleanup days; they can easily be spotted by their unique shirts, designed by local students. Each year West Milford students compete in an annual art class event to design the shirt to be worn by participants in the cleanup effort. Blom announced that the winner of this year’s contest was Zachary McPhee, a senior at West Milford High School. He is a student of art teacher Jennifer Monego, a member of the high school staff.
In addition to Blom, Beautification and Task Force Committee members include Lynne Blackowski, Derek Nicholson, and secretary John Monahan. Ada Erik is township council liaison member. In the most recent cleanup effort in April, the team of volunteers collected 396 bags of garbage, 192 bags of things to be recycled, two tons of metal, and one ton of construction material (windows, doors, wood). Blom urged individuals and families to participate in the next community cleanup effort to get a personal, inspiring feeling of community cooperativeness that provides results everyone can appreciate.
Local businesses and groups who donated help included Eden Farms, YMCA, Dairy Queen of West Milford, Jimmie the Barber, Flags Etc., Skytop, BPO Elks Lodge 2236 and ShopRite of West Milford.