Wantage Township New Jersey

888 State Highway 23

Clean Communities

clean communities logo

Contact Wantage Clean Communities
Clean Communities Coordinator
Ken Karnas
phone: 862-268-1891 or 973-875-5316
email: kkar495@hotmail.com

About Clean Communities

NJ Clean Communities Overview

New 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!

wantage clean communities logo

Wantage Township's Clean Communities Program

Wantage Township Clean Communities program is part of a statewide strategy to clean and prevent litter on streets, beaches, waterways, parks, recreation sites and vacant lots. Clean Communities Grant funding is used for educational programs, enforcement of littering/dumping laws, supporting clean up events, and implementing Township roadside cleanups.

Roadside Cleanups

Help us keep Wantage Township clean! Your civic/social organization can earn a stipend while cleaning a section of a Wantage Township road. See Cleanup Guidelines.


The safety of our volunteers is important. Please review safety protocols before conducting any cleanup programs and encourage volunteers to watch the NJCCC safety video: https://njclean.org/aag-individual-safety-video


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.

Report Illegal Dumping

The Problem:

"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

white rectangle with cut out letters spelling Dont Waste Our Open Space with images of blue sky and clouds, fields and grass beneath the cut out letters


Sussex County Division of Health

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

poster of woman taking a picture with her phone of a dump site in the woods.

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

Important Links

State NJCC Website: www.njclean.org
State Bag Up NJ Website: www.bagupnj.com
NJDEP Single Use Plastics Website: https://www.nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law/
Sign Up for NJCC Newsletter: https://njclean.org/register-for-web-news
NJCC Certification Training: http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/courses/current/er0400ca.html

bag up nj logo

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.

canvas reusable bag

What can you do to support Bag Up NJ?

As a consumer, there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint!

  • Vhen shopping, BRING your reusable shopping bags to help fight waste in your town.
  • RECYCLE your disposable bags by bringing them to your local retailer.
  • When it comes to reusable bags, you have options. There are many different sizes, types, materials, and designs.Choose the ones that work best for you as a consumer.

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

skip the straw graphic of two green plastic straws over a water background

Skip the Straw

Plastic straws are one of many items that contribute to litter, so Skip the Straw or bring an reusable one. As of Nov. 4, 2021, straws are only be available upon request in NJ.

Important Dates

  • Plastic Straws By-Request-Only
  • Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products
  • Single-Use Carryout Bags

November 4, 2021

Single-Use Straws by Request Only

  • Food service businesses may only provide a single-use plastic straw upon customer request.
  • Food service businesses muse keep an adequate supply of single-use plastic straws.
  • Scores may sell packages of single-use plastic straws & sell a beverage pre-packaged by the manufacturer with a single-use plastic straw.

May 4, 2022

Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ban

  • Food service businesses are prohibited from selling/ offering any polystyrene foam food service produce & may not sell or provide any food served in a polystyrene food service produce.
  • Visit nj.gov/dep/plastic-ban-law for more info and exemptions .

May 4, 2022

Single-Use Carryout Bags Ban

  • All scores (including retail), food service businesses, and grocery stores are prohibited from selling co, or providing customers with, single-use plastic carryout bags.
  • Grocery Stores larger than 2,500 sq 6: may not provide or sell single-use paper carryout bags bur may provide or sell reusable bags.

New Jersey Single Use Plastic Ban Law: