Clean Communities Program

Litter Clean Up Days - 2024

  • Saturday, April 20th - Registration closed.
  • Saturday, May 18th - Accepting volunteers
  • Saturday, June 16th - accepting volunteers
  • Saturday, September 14th - accepting volunteers

Visit the registration page to sign up for an upcoming event. The Clean Up days qualify for community services hours as required by schools, religious institutions and court ordered service.  The events run from 8:45 AM to 12:30 PM. The bus leaves at 9:00 AM sharp. 


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

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!

The Fair Lawn 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, supporting clean up events and implementing adopt-a-road and mini-grant programs.


State NJCC Website:

State Bag Up NJ Website:

NJDEP Single Use Plastics Website:

Sign Up for NJCC Newsletter:

NJCC Certification Training:


Help us keep Fair Lawn clean!  A variety of volunteer opportunities are available whether you’re a resident, business, civic association, school or non-profit organization.

One Day Cleanup Event – Civic groups, volunteer organizations, churches and scout troops, as well as residents and businesses, are encouraged to participate in a joint effort to clean up our streets and public properties.

Adopt a Road groups are required to clean sections of the adopted area, and all necessary equipment such as grabbers, safety shirts, bags and gloves are provided.  All groups are acknowledged with a road sign displaying their name.

Safety - 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:

Bag Up 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 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.

For more information on the NJ Bag Ban Law, please visit:

For information on Business Compliance please contact  the New Jersey Business Action Center

What can YOU do to support Bag Up New Jersey? 

- When shopping, BRING reusable shopping bags to help fight waste in Fair Lawn.
- Recycle your disposable bags when possible.
- When it comes to reusable bags, you have options. There are many different sizes, types, materials and designs. Choose the one that works best for you.

MAY 4, 2022 -
- Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ban - food service businesses are prohibited from selling / offering any polystyrene foam food service product and may not sell or provide any food served in a polystyrene food service product.

- Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban - All stores, including retail, food service businesses, and grocery stores are prohibited from selling to, or providing customers with, single-use plastic carryout bags. Grrocery stores greating than 2,500 sq ft may not provide sell single-use paper carryout bags, but may provide or sell reusable bags. 

Skip the Straw

Starting November 4, 2021, businesses will no longer give out straws unless specifically requested. Straws contribute to litter, so please skip the straw or bring a reusable one. 

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."

"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 link below and start reporting illegal dumping sites in New Jersey.

Last Updated: Tue, 05/16/2023 - 9:29am