Public Schools Can Apply for Morris Clean Communities Grants

The program is a county effort to promote litter cleanups and to turn 'litterbugs' into responsible citizens through education.

File Photo
File Photo
Morris County public schools covering sixth through 12th grades are eligible to apply for a “Keep Morris County Litter Free” grant.
The program is an effort of the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority's Clean Communities program to promote litter cleanups and to turn "litterbugs" into responsible citizens through education. “Keep Morris County Litter Free” is part of the “Slam Dunk the Junk” statewide initiative sponsored by the New Jersey Clean Communities Council. 

To quality for a grant, a public school must conduct a litter cleanup on at least two acres of school grounds, which may include ball fields and wooded areas, between April 15 and June 6, said Liz Sweedy, Morris County Clean Communities coordinator. A minimum of 20 students and their adult supervisors must take part in each cleanup.

After the cleanup has been conducted and the proper paperwork has been received and reviewed by the MCMUA, the school will receive a $500 grant to buy outdoor receptacles for either recyclables or trash, or indoor receptacles for recyclables only, Sweedy said.

During last year’s litter-free effort, 575 students and adult supervisors from 21 schools cleaned 127 acres of land and collected 120 bags of trash, 88 bags of recyclables, two tires, 80 pounds of scrap metal and 80 pounds of construction debris, according to Sweedy. 

“That was a tremendous accomplishment,” she said.

A second and optional component of the grant program is a school-run poster contest for Morris County public school students in grades six through12. County winners of this contest will receive a $200 gift certificate and have their posters replicated on a recycling receptacle for their schools, Sweedy said.

“The students’ artwork we received last year was absolutely spectacular,” she said.

Last year’s poster contest winners were Cara Lubin and Madison O’Donnell, both of West Morris Central High School; Manal Wasseem of Morris Hills High School; and Gionna Florey of Morris Knolls High School.

A school may participate exclusively in the poster contest or in conjunction with the cleanup, but it must conduct a litter cleanup to earn the $500.

“We are confident these two ‘green’ projects will raise awareness about both litter abatement and recycling, and at the same time will assist the participating schools financially,” Sweedy said.

An application packet is available online at www.mcmua.com. The applications must be received by April 7. For more info, call Sweedy at 973-285-8393. 


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