After 9 years of pulling other people's trash out of our river,
we finally decided to tackle the problem at it's source!

Introducing the “Clean Streets = Clean Water” Campaign

Hackensack Riverkeeper and the Bergen County Sheriff's Office are partnering on a joint anti-litter campaign
designed to reduce the amount of trash that makes its way from the county’s roadways into its waterways and beyond!

The campaign, entitled CLEAN STREETS = CLEAN WATER: Bergen County Litter Marshal Program, utilizes billboard messaging along several of the County’s more heavily traveled thoroughfares to discourage litter and assist law enforcement in responding to it. The program will empower the general public as “County Litter Marshals” and offer people an easy and anonymous mechanism for reporting litter violations to ensure violators are aware of the environmental impact and potential legal repercussions of their actions. The program is one of the most aggressive anti-litter campaigns to take place in New Jersey, though it is based on similar local campaigns in Fair Lawn, NJ and Rockland County, NY.

Featuring a graphic image of a motorist flagrantly tossing trash from a moving car, the billboards urge those who spot such littering to call the Hackensack Riverkeeper Watershed Watch Hotline at 1-877-CPT-BIL (278-2455) with the date, time and location of incident as well as the vehicle make, model, color and license plate number. All reports are then relayed to a special desk at the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department from which a written “Litter Violation Notice” is sent to the vehicle owner warning of potential fines and penalties for littering. The notice also includes a pamphlet describing the various sources and consequences of litter. CLEAN STREETS = CLEAN WATER billboards are designed to reach motorists traveling to and from sporting events, concerts and shopping, as well as commuters.

NEW!! You can now text your report to 274637 and include "Bergen Tip" in the message.
Be sure to include the date, time, location, vehicle make, model, color and license plate number and the type of litter tossed.

“Most people don’t realize that litter becomes water pollution once it rains,” explained Captain Bill Sheehan. “With every rain, stormwater washes litter and all manner of debris and waste off of our streets, down our storm drains and ultimately into our waterways. It is our plan that this program will educate many thousands of people about their clean water responsibilities.”

CLEAN STREETS = CLEAN WATER: Bergen County Litter Marshal Program is funded by generous grants from the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program. Additional funding was provided by the Pennington, NJ-based Watershed Institute.

So, next time you see somebody throwing litter (including cigarette butts!) out of a vehicle, safely pull over and write down:

Date and Time
License Plate #
Item(s) Discarded from Vehicle

then call 877-CPT-BILL or email the information to

Thanks for doing your part to end litter!