Keep Downtown Beautiful

The LDDA in partnership with Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program are aiming to clean up cigarette butt waste Downtown. The LDDA received a grant from KAB to purchase cigarette receptacles and distribute pocket and vehicle portable ashtrays. The grant requirements include conducting cigarette butt scans (counting the number of butts found in a certain area), purchasing receptacles, and public outreach. The LDDA with support from the City of Longmont Public Works, Core Labor Source (Imagine), and Downtown business owners and block captains, helped determine receptacle locations, maintenance requirements, clean up and public education.

Grant Timeline:

  • preliminary cigarette scan conducted in May 2018 in key install locations
  • receptacles installed June, 2018 (qty: 16)
  • installed new side mounted cigarette receptacles on trash cans in alleys and on Main St., where appropriate 
    • receptacles are tamper resistant and padlocked
  • 37 total receptacles available downtown
  • social media and other public outreach from June - December 2018
  • follow-up and sustainability cigarette scans planned for August and December 2018 at key install locations

Preliminary Results:

40% decrease in cigarette litter near the installed receptacles

The Colorado Clean Air Act prohibits smoking within 15 feet of any public entrance. Please smoke away from an entrance while visiting or working Downtown.

Cigarette Litter Facts

Is A Cigarette Butt Litter? 

When it ends up on the ground and not in a receptacle, a cigarette butt is litter. Partially smoked cigarettes, cigar tips, matches, disposable lighters, packaging, and cigarette butts are all part of a growing national litter problem. View this informative cigarette litter fact sheet. 

Individuals, who would never litter beverage cans or paper packaging, typically don’t consider tossing cigarette butts or cigar tips on the ground as littering. Lack of awareness, lack of ash receptacles, and ordinances that move smokers outdoors all increase cigarette butt littering.

Cigarette Butt Litter and Downtown Longmont

Although it’s one of the smallest pieces of litter, cigarette butts are the top item collected during Downtown's annual Clean & Green event.

Creating Blight
Cigarette butt litter is unsightly. It accumulates in corners, tree wells, pavers, and gutters. Litter in a our Downtown district creates a sense that no one cares about the community or environment. 

Harmful to Waterways
Littered cigarette butts are easily carried in storm water runoff through drainage systems and eventually to local streams, rivers, and waterways. Cigarette filters contain cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that does not biodegrade and can persist in the environment.

Costly to Clean Up
Cigarette litter requires additional sidewalk and street sweeping, greenway and park maintenance, and storm water system upkeep. Retailers, property owners, and municipalities also bear the expense of cigarette litter cleanup at entrances, exits, and adjacent sidewalks and parking lots.

Harmful to Pets

While one butt may make a small dog sick, two butts could be a potentially toxic dose for a small-breed dog or puppy. Dogs can experience nicotine poisoning so keep our four legged friends safe and don't leave butts behind for them to sniff and taste. 

Tips to Reduce Cigarette Butt Litter

  • Use a receptacle to dispose of cigarette butts and cigar tips. There are now over 25 in ground and trash can mounted ash receptacles in the Downtown area and are primarily located near bars, restaurants, and coffee shops on Main St. or in the alley. 
  • Carry a portable or pocket ashtray when a receptacle is not available. These are available at the LDDA office. Please contact Del Rae at (303) 651-8586. When a Downtown receptacle is not available, these pocket ashtrays come in handy!
  • Don’t throw butts out car windows. Use your vehicle ash tray or if you don't have one, pick up a portable vehicle ash tray at the LDDA office. Please contact Del Rae at (303) 651-8586. 
  • Be aware of local litter ordinances. The Colorado Clean Air Act prohibits smoking within 15 feet of any public entrance. Be considerate and smoke away from the entrance to a public establishment.

Find out more at or

Second Hand Smoke

Exposure to secondhand smoke both indoors and outdoors poses risk to an individuals’ health. 
•    Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic including 70 that are known to cause cancer.
•    Harmful chemicals include carbon monoxide, benzene, and arsenic.
•    There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even small exposures can trigger a heart attack or an asthma attack for some individuals. 

For information on local and state tobacco prevention resources and quitting support, visit