Twenty high school seniors will be offered $15 an hour to join the newly formed Fourth Ward Clean Team.
The teens will clear litter from streets, clean parks and do other cleanup work each Saturday from June 12 through Aug. 7, Fourth Ward Councilman David Cummings said. The program will be funded through a New Jersey Clean Communities Grant and administered through the Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation, he said.
“I think this is a great opportunity where the township will be able to offer these young people the chance to learn about the environment, sustainability and cleaning the streets and neighborhoods,” Cummings said.
The program was inspired in part by the initiative of 22-year-old Jordan Tassy, who took on the task of delivering recyclable goods to the township’s Community Services Building yard when municipal collections were temporarily suspended in late February and early March. Tassy died of COVID-19 complications March 25.
The recycling pickup “was a beautiful thing for someone to do,” Cummings said.
The councilman said interested high school seniors living in Montclair, attending any school, can contact him at email@example.com and will be sent applications. A committee will review the applications to select the 20 participants.
Residents, business owners and groups, and block and neighborhood associations will be able to suggest streets and areas of focus.
Cummings said the program takes cues from a similar initiative in Hillside, where he works as an aide to the mayor, with responsibilities for communications and public relations.
“I asked [the Hillside mayor] how she did it. I thought, ‘Man, this is something great,’” Cummings said.
— Louis C. Hochman