After the removal of our home made ash cans, cigarette butt litter on Roncy has definitely increased. We need to explore more permanent solutions to this problem. This should include the addition of cigarette receptacles interspersed between the trash cans near spots where there is a larger volume of butts accumulating.
Other cities and communities have been grappling with the problem, so let’s learn from them. In San Diego, their longest running environmental non-profit, I Love a Clean San Diego, runs regular cleanups and is addressing prevention. This year they have partnered with other non-profits to install ash cans along their streets. They are piloting the program in three communities and are monitoring the volume of butts before and after ash can installation.
The DropPit is a solution used in the Netherlands to address the most widespread form of litter: cigarette butts and chewing gum. Makes you wonder how they handle this in the winter time.
Even Paris wants smokers to stop tossing butts in the street. This year they have started attaching little ribbed resin disks to public waste bins where smokers can put out their cigarettes.
It’s not that the cigarette butt receptacles on the public trash bins on Roncy aren’t a good idea, it’s that few people know they are there and there aren’t enough of them to make a significant difference in reducing cigarette litter.
We think something like these cigarette receptacles installed on some of our shop fronts or something additional installed on the public side of the street would make a difference.
What’s more, our volunteers would collect the litter from these receptacles for recycling through a partnership with TerraCycle. This company buys and converts butts among other trash into usable products, such as warehouse pallets.
In the meantime, we’ve been trying to get the disposal units in our trash bins noticed by the smokers, but some overzealous interloper has removed all of our stickers before they had a chance to have an impact.