Photo Credit: Andres Siimon (via Unsplash)
Anyone who has ventured downtown this summer has probably noticed some new installations. Clean St. John’s has launched an initiative designed to keep cigarette butts off the ground in downtown St. John’s.
Debris from cigarette remains is the number one most littered item in the city. Clean St. John’s consists of a group of 973 volunteers who have removed more than 419 garbage bags of litter from our immediate environment. In reference to cigarette butts specifically, Clean St. John’s hopes to educate community members on the impact that litter from cigarettes has on our city. Cigarettes don’t decompose, and as we know they are full of tar, nicotine, ammonia, arsenic, and all manner of other toxic chemicals that when improperly disposed of seep into our water supplies and damage our environment.
A total of forty receptacles for the disposal of cigarette butts have been implemented throughout downtown St. John’s, each with a very visible blue arrow pointing to it which reads “Your Butt Would Look Good In This.” They are located on George Street and Gower Street as well as Duckworth Street and Water Street. Not only are these receptacles keeping the butts off the ground, but they are also putting them to good use in the manufacturing of both park benches and shipping pallets.
These receptacles appear to be motivating many people to recycle their cigarette butts, but that’s not to say that you won’t run across a few when you’re not standing directly next to a receptacle (and sometimes even when you are). There is no foolproof way to completely eradicate cigarette butts from even four streets downtown, but the ambitiousness of the project and the good intentions of the Clean St. John’s organization inspires confidence.
You may recognize some of Clean St. John’s other beautification work such as the painting of the traffic boxes or the two thousand clean-up initiatives that they’ve hosted. The reduction of litter from cigarette butts is just the next step in their determination to beautify and cleanse the city of all the trash that never found its way into a garbage bin.
To read more about Clean St. John’s work, or to become a volunteer, visit their website or see #buttfreeyyt on Instagram or Twitter.