Morris Plains the Community of Caring
531 Speedwell Ave, Morris Plains, NJ 07950     973-538-2224


~~ Serving Our Community of Caring ~~


Clean Communities Program

What is Clean Communities

Clean Communities is a State-wide litter-abatement program created by the passage of the Clean Communities Act in 1986. 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 Act also provides guidelines on the use of funds. Statistical reports to track expenditure and program progress must be filed with the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc. every grant year.

The Morris Plains Clean Communities Program

In Morris Plains, non-profit groups volunteer under the mini-grant program to participate in special litter pickups during the year. Most are done in October and April, but others are done during the summer and winter months.
Currently, almost every street in the borough is covered at least once a year through this program. Mini-grants are available for scout, church, civic organizations and sport groups willing to make a commitment to participate. Keeping Morris Plains litter free benefits everyone, and is a great source of pride.

New Programs for New Jersey

Recently, a ban on non-reusable plastic bags was instituted in New Jersey. 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 plastic and paper bags. The law bans single-use plastic bags, regardless of thickness, at grocery and retail establishments, as well as paper bags at grocery stores at 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 statewide ban on disposable bags goes into effect on May 4, 2022 and will create an effective and uniform sustainable policy for all shoppers and business owners in NJ.





What is litter?
Litter takes many forms such as paper, plastics, metal cans, cigarette butts, food packaging, tires and much more.

Where does litter come from? There are many sources of litter:
-overflowing household and commercial trash containers
-loading docks
-constructions sites
-uncovered trucks

How does litter affect us?

Even small amounts of litter are unsightly, unhealthy and can be dangerous by causing the following:
-low morale
-diseases in people and animals
-declining tourism and industry

Why do people litter? People tend to litter when. . .
-an area already has litter
-people don’t feel a sense of community pride and ownership
-they think someone else will clean it up

What Has Morris Plains Accomplished?
Thanks to our many participating clean-up groups, Morris Plains has collected a huge amount of trash and recyclables from our roadways and parks

In the spring of 2022 they collected over 930 pounds of trash and 270 pounds of recyclables.

In 2021, 218 volunteers collected over 1200 pounds of trash and 400 pounds of recyclables.

Some interesting finds during the cleanups were lawn chairs, hub caps, road reflectors and scrap metal. What will they find next time???

What Can you do to Help

Pick up any loose trash before it blows away!

Avoid turning your 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.

photo litter pickup

How Trash Travels

Keep in mind that litter not only effects our immediate environment, but what happens to it over time.
See how litter travels. . .


How Long Does Litter Last?

Items That Turn Into Litter Can Last a Very Long Time!


Puzzles and Games to Download












Other Contacts for Clean Communities

New Jersey Clean Communities

Morris County Clean Communities


Links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Borough of Morris Plains. The Borough of Morris Plains bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Clean Communities Coordinator

James Merendino
23 Washington Avenue
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1818
973-476-0439 (work) (personal).

Clean up schedule

  • Spring during Earth Week
  • Fall during October
  • Extra cleanups during the year

Photos From Fall 2022 Cleanup

read more