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.
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.
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:
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.