Butt-Free YYT

As one of North America’s oldest cities, St. John’s captivates visitors with its historic streets, beautiful views, charming shops and friendly people. But like most cities, litter lives and thrives on our streets, particularly cigarette butts that have unfortunately become an unsightly and common part of our City.

Not only are cigarette butts unsightly, they also contain plastics and toxins that can harm our environment and ecosystems. Over 5 million cigarette butts live on our City’s streets.

[MMSB Roadside Litter Audit, 2016]

In an effort to mitigate cigarette butt litter within the popular downtown core of St. John’s, Clean St. John’s is seeking to implement a cigarette butt pilot project to run for nine months along Water Street, Duckworth Street and George Street, subject to project funding.

The proposed pilot project will involve the installation of 25 cigarette butt collection receptacles in visible locations along three streets, while building awareness of the environmental concerns associated with cigarette butt litter.

And we’d like to take it one step further. Clean St. John’s will partner with a company called TerraCycle, which specializes in the management of challenging to recycle waste streams, to recycle the collected butts! TerraCycle will turn the organic materials present in the butts (paper, ashes & tobacco) into compost while the butt filters will be crushed and mixed with other recycled plastics to make pallets and outdoor furniture.

Clean St. John’s is currently seeking support and partnerships to implement this project and will post an update soon.