New Efforts to Reduce Cigarette Butt Litter Downtown
If you’ve visited downtown Ventura recently you may have noticed the newly installed cigarette butt cans in areas with the worst cigarette butt litter problems. While smoking is not permitted downtown or in almost any other public space in the city, there is still a considerable amount of cigarette butt litter making its way into our streets, storm drains, waterways and beaches. In fact, cigarette butts are the most common trash item picked up by Surfrider in their monthly beach cleanups.
Cigarette butts are made of plastic, contain dangerous chemicals, and are toxic to children and wildlife. To reduce the negative environmental impacts of cigarette butt litter, these new ash cans were installed by the City of Ventura, and will be emptied by Downtown Ventura Partners and volunteers from the Surfrider Foundation’s Ventura County Chapter. After the cigarette butts are collected, Surfrider volunteers send them off to the recycling company Terracycle to be turned into pallets, park benches, and more!
These efforts are part of a larger Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) campaign that Surfrider is leading, with support from the City of Ventura and other local groups. In addition to the downtown locations, ash cans were also installed at some City Parks, along the Promenade, and near beach entrance in Pierpont. As of January 2018, 45 ash cans have been installed, and almost 150,000 cigarette butts have been collected and recycled.