Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Office
ELIZABETH, NJ—May 1, 2014 - Earlier this morning, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined Sandy Huber, Executive Director of the Clean Communities Council, Freeholder Sergio Granados, Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr., Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste and Councilman Carlos Torres, as they kicked off this year’s Slam Dunk the Junk event. Every year, in celebration of Earth Day, hundreds of volunteers from the city and county, along with non-profit and private organizations joined together to clean and beautify the neighborhoods throughout the City of Elizabeth. 
“Earth Day is a great opportunity for residents and various organizations in Elizabeth to get together to create lasting partnerships and make a difference within our neighborhoods,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “Each year, the number of volunteers increases, which shows that our community is dedicated to protecting and preserving our environment as well as working together to improve the quality of life for all. I would like to thank all of those who continue to help us expand our Go-Green Initiatives.”
The Earth Day event, which began at 9:00 a.m. outside of City Hall, attracted over three hundred (300) volunteers who collected over four hundred and thirty (430) bags of garbage. From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the teams cleaned up various sites that they had chosen in the City, including Elizabethport, Broad Street, Elizabeth Avenue, Front Street, and Jackson Park.
This year’s teams included: Elizabethtown Gas, Union County College, Patricia Perkins-Auguste Civic Association, Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy, Historic Midtown Special Improvement District, 814 America’s Inc., Groundwork Elizabeth, Elizabeth Development Company, Community Access, Elizabeth Community Resource Center, MIRA USA, IKEA, Bayway Family Success Center, New Jersey Youth Core, Actavis, Elizabeth Senior Centers, Elizabeth Public Library, Town Square Adult Day Care Center and the Kevin Kiniery Clean Up Crew. 
Earth Day concluded with an awards luncheon at 1:00 p.m. at the Peterstown Community Center, located at 418 Palmer Street. Gold, silver and bronze brooms were awarded to the most successful cleanup teams, which included:  Union County College, MIRA USA and Elizabethtown Gas.
“I am pleased to see so many people participating in the effort of revitalizing our neighborhoods,” said Carlos Torres, Councilman of the First Ward. “I commend all of our residents and partners who continue to support this initiative, which helps make our community cleaner and greener.”
This year’s Earth Day event was hosted by Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, the City of Elizabeth and New Jersey Clean Communities, which is a community driven, statewide litter abatement program funded by the Clean Communities Act. This program is managed by the New Jersey Clean Communities Council and the State Department of Environmental Protection and Treasury, which work with municipalities and counties to keep New Jersey clean.
Sponsors for the event include: The City of Elizabeth, the County of Union, Elizabeth Public Library, Groundwork Elizabeth, Historic Midtown Special Improvement District, Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Shop Rite, Coca-Cola Company, Union County College, Elizabethtown Gas, Waste Management and Regional Industries.