Clean Communities

Image of kids recycling at public container

Morris County's Clean Communities program is part of a statewide strategy to prevent litter from accumulating on streets, beaches and waterways, in parks, recreation sites and vacant lots, and to clean up litter. There are three goals: education, enforcement, and cleanup. Funding is provided by NJ from a user fee on 15 kinds of litter-related products. This fee is assessed at the manufacturer, wholesale and retail levels. The funds can be used to educate about litter abatement, as well as for litter cleanups.

What is litter?

Litter is garbage or trash that is out of place. It's found on our streets, highways, lakefronts, parks and school grounds. Litter takes many forms such as paper, plastics, metal cans, cigarette butts, food packaging and tires.

  • image of Don't Waste Our Open Space Logo

Litter News Via Twitter

image of Slam Dunk the Junk Logo Slam Dunk the Junk - Put Litter In Its Place!
Morris County's Clean Communities program now provides two new grant opportunity for public schools, grades 6-12, in Morris County. 
Click here for more information on the grant and how to apply.

image of Don't Waste Our Open Space Logo NJDEP's “Don’t Waste our Open Space” campaign

In March 2014, The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced its “Don’t Waste our Open Space” campaign. The NJDEP's website, cites the problem of public lands all over New Jersey being used as dumping grounds. Litter, garbage bags, tires, televisions, electronic waste, appliances, yard waste, and construction debris is dumped and threatens 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.

The campaign is being developed to advise the public of the State’s crackdown on illegal dumping and to recruit public help in reporting illegal dumping violations.

image of Talking Trash BookTracking Trash Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion
The Morris County Clean Communities program proudly provided the book titled Tracking Trash Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion, by author Loree Griffin Burns, to all public middle schools and to all municipal libraries (those that did not already have a copy). The book provides pertinent little abatement information for students in grades 6 though 8. Through the Morris County Clean Communities education program, we hope to change the attitudes and actions of those who litter!

Download the Stop Illegal Dumping Flyer Where does litter come from? There are many sources of litter:

  • pedestrians
  • motorists
  • overflowing household garbage cans
  • overflowing commercial containers
  • loading docks
  • construction sites
  • uncovered trucks
  • Litter is often wind-blown until it is trapped somewhere or goes down a storm drain.

How does litter affect us? - Even small amounts of litter are unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous and may cause the following:

  • fires
  • pollution
  • accidents
  • low morale
  • diseases in people and animals
  • declining tourism and industry

Why do people litter? - People tend to litter...

  • when an area is already littered
  • when they don't feel a sense of ownership or community pride
  • when they think someone else will clean it up

Image of fish in a polluted lake. What can we do to clean up litter? We can get involved as follows:

  • organize a cleanup day through your municipality
  • purchase anti-litter signs for our town
  • sponsor contests in the schools
  • help the elderly or disabled to clean up their yards
  • raise awareness about litter through a public education campaign
  • donate trash receptacles to the town
  • empty trash receptacles on a regular basis
  • conduct a litter survey to find the worst spots
  • publicize our efforts in the local media

Clean can be contagious!
Let's take the time to care for our communities,
to pick up litter and plant flowers, trees and shrubs!

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Download the Recycle Responsibly Flyer


Avoid turning recyclables into litter on a windy day

  • Use a lid to prevent the wind from blowing material out.
  • If your material does not fit into one container, use more than one so that loose material is not sticking out.
  • Flatten corrugated cardboard boxes and stack them into one unflattened box. Do not leave loose boxes on the ground.

Use properly sized containers

  • The weight limit for a single container is 50 pounds when full.
  • It is recommended that containers be no larger than 32 gallons each to avoid exceeding the weight limit.
  • Containers must have handles.
  • Retail stores now sell recycling carts with wheels that are too big. They will exceed the 50 pound weight limit when full. Do NOT use these large 64 and 95 gallon carts.

Only recycle what is acceptable

  • Be careful to follow the recycling guidelines as advertised by your town and on the MCMUA’s website. There are specific guidelines regarding the materials that are and are not acceptable.
  • Your cooperation with these guidelines is greatly appreciated. If you have questions please call your town’s recycling coordinator or the MCMUA at 973-285-8394.