NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–For the sixth year in a row, the city's Environmental Commission, and Recylcing Coordinator Donna Caputo are teaming up to organize neighborhoods to fight litter.
The commission announced its plans to continue the Clean City Block Captains program at their February meeting.
The Block Captains program, which was founded in 2010, organizes residents to be “city block captains," volunteers who organize and educate their neighbors about the litter problem and participate in multiple monthly cleanups.
The block captains program helps provide resources to the volunteers, who agree to lead the fight against litter on their particular block, and join forces in “team up to clean up” litter removal events.
The city has scheduled its first block captain meeting for Monday, March 23 at 7pm at the New Brunswick Public Library, located at 60 Livingston Avenue.
The city encourages participation in the Block Captain Program, a program for residents where volunteer block captains organize local neighborhood cleanups and the city provides materials such as garbage bags and disposable gloves.
Environmental Commissioner Vince Rifici said the block captain program has been very positive and he would like to see even more public involvement.
“I think there is a positive reaction to this,” he said. “I think it could be more visible, get more people involved.”
Anyone interested in becoming a block captain can either attend the initial meeting, or contact the Division of Clean Communities at 732-745-5245, email the Environmental Commission at [email protected], or fill out the application online at the city's website.
Block captains can be anyone who has city residency and has in the past included Rutgers students and fraternity associations.
So far, however, the city has hesitated in asking small businesses and city-based companies such as restaurants and convenience stores, who are sometimes the most egregious and visible sources of street trash and litter, to take part in the program.
Instead, the New Brunswick Parking Authority's Clean Team is tasked with cleaning the city's downtown and three commercial corridors: French Street, Remsen Avenue, and Easton Avenue.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.