The James City Clean County Commission is spending Summer 2015 spreading the message that cigarette butts are litter too. Through a partnership with Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program and askHRgreen.org, the Clean County Commission will set their sights on the Croaker Road commuter parking lot.
The project will kick off June 18 from 5:30-8:30 a.m. at the parking lot. Information about the cigarette litter program and free pocket and cupholder ashtrays will be distributed by Clean County Commission members and County staff.
The commuter parking lot was chosen by the Commission as a small, manageable project for the initiative’s first year. A pre-scan was conducted on May 26, one month after an initial clean up; and over 300 cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips were collected on just twenty percent of the lot.
Grant-supported cigarette litter prevention programs are taking place across the country in downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges, tourist spots and at special events. Participating communities consistently cut cigarette butt litter by half. Locally, the project is part of a region-wide effort including Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.
John Horne, the County’s Director of General Services, points out that this effort supports one of the Board of Supervisors-directed strategic initiatives over the next several years. “Preventing litter, and specifically cigarette litter, is critical for making an impact on our County’s appearance.”
Tobacco products, including cigarette butts, are the most-littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items, according to “Litter in America,” the Keep America Beautiful landmark study of litter and littering behavior. This research also showed that individuals who would never litter items such as beverage cans or paper packaging may not consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground “littering”.
For more information on the program, contact Dawn Oleksy at 757-259-5375 or via email email@example.com.
Media Contact: John Horne, Director, General Services