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Bridgewater Courier News

MONROE – The township has a new state-funded, amphibiousall-terrain vehicle which will aid in its cleanup of litter in local waterways.    

On an August morning, members of the Monroe Department of Public Works awoke to their first challenge of the day: the wind had swept a trampoline into a neighborhood retention pond, according to a release.

Normally, such a rescue mission would take some planning and a couple of hours of work to safely fish it out. But this task was not a challenge, as Monroe DPW workers rolled out, for the very first time, its new amphibious all-terrain vehicle.  

Monroe fights litter with a state-funded, amphibious all-terrain vehicle (Photo: ~Courtesy of the township of Monroe)

Known as an “Argo,” the vehicle can drive into a pond or stream, where it then floats as a boat. Monroe officials purchased the $29,000 vehicle, equipped with a trailer and other accessories, through state Clean Communities grants, the release said. 

“Our DPW crews work hard every day to keep Monroe Township roadways, open space, facilities and now streams and waterways in tip-top shape,” Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro said. “Through organizations like the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, we can provide the appropriate specialty tools to get the job done without using taxpayer dollars.”

Joe Slomian, the township’s recycling coordinator, said the Argo will be a centerpiece of efforts to clean up litter in about 15 miles of waterways, including the Manalapan Brook and the Matchaponix Brook.

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“There is a huge need for more attention to be given to these waterways,” Slomian said. “That is because of an increase in litter and a bigger demand for municipalities to stay in compliance with the state’s stormwater and flooding regulations.”

Slomian said the Argo can go into deep waterways and easily floats when its tires can no longer touch the ground. The vehicle then paddles, making it easy for township workers to remove debris from local waterways, as well as log jams.

Monroe officials hope to install litter-catching devices at storm water outflows and repair eroded and unhealthy river banks as part of the project, he said.

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