Keep Downtown Beautiful

The LDDA in partnership with Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Campaign are aiming to clean up cigarette butt waste Downtown. The LDDA received a grant from KAB to purchase cigarette receptacles and distribute pocket ashtrays. The grant requirements included conducting cigarette butt scans (counting the number of butts found in a certain area), purchasing receptacles, and public relations.


  • cigarette scan conducted in April 2015
  • receptacles and signage installed June 10, 2015
  • locations of new receptacles include LCTC building on 200 west block of Main St. and Electric Tattoo/Little Dog on the 600 east block of Main St. 
  • total receptacles downtown are 20 plus 6 additional trash can mounted receptacles for a total of 26
  • social media and outreach from June - December 2015
  • follow-up and sustainability cigarette scans scheduled for August and December 2015

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.

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 Your Community

Although it’s one of the smallest pieces of litter, communities report cigarette butts, including cigar tips, are the top item collected during local cleanups. All that litter has an impact on the places we live:

Creating Blight
Cigarette butt litter is unsightly. It accumulates in corners, gutters, and outside doorways and bus shelters. Litter in a business district, waterfront, on roadways and recreation areas, and other signs of disorder create a sense that no one cares about the community.

Harmful to Waterways
Littered cigarette butts and cigar tips 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.

Tips to Reduce Cigarette Butt Litter

  • Use a receptacle to dispose of cigarette butts and cigar tips. There are now 20 black ash receptacles in the Downtown area and are located primarily along Main St. and near bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Additional trash can mounted ash trays are also available throughout Downtown.
  • Carry a portable or pocket ashtray when smoking outside. 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. Place cigarette butts and cigar tips in a car ashtray, a portable auto ashtray (which fits in the cup holder), or a container with a secure top like an empty bottle or snap-lid tin.
  • Be aware of local litter ordinances. The Colorado Clean Air Act prohibits smoking within 15 feet of any public entrance.

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