Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Butts bug litter pickers

Photo by Marlith via Wikipedia.
Smokers for some reason don’t seem to consider cigarette butts as litter, Kilcullen Tidy Towns volunteers heard at Monday’s meeting of Kilcullen Community Action, writes Brian Byrne.

The observation was made by Noel Clare during a discussion on the effectiveness of the current litter picking programme, which everyone agreed was working out well, especially with the rota system being used.

Cigarette butts remain a major issue though, outside shops and pubs and other premises on the street, and especially at the bus stops. The butts also don’t seem to disintegrate, Noel Clare noted. It was suggested that this was because the tar in the cigarettes soaked into the remains, making them impervious to water.

It was also noted that smokers outside premises don’t seem to use any receptacles provided. The meeting agreed that an awareness campaign might have some effect.

One suggestion was that a vacant shop window might be used to provide a poster tidy towns message, changing from time to time, as part of awareness campaigns.

ED NOTE: In the US, surveys indicate that cigarette remains can comprise up to 38pc of all roadside litter. Depositing cigarette ends into normal street bins is discouraged because of the danger of starting fires, and in some cities the authorities have installed special receptacles for the butts at strategic intervals along the street. In some cases, the city pays a bounty to a local charity based on the weight of material disposed of, to encourage use of the bins.