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Buckroe Beach’s New Additons!

Posted on July 23, 2015 by | Comments Off

HA Buckroe Beach

“Grooving by the Bay” Concert Series
Buckroe Beach Park, Hampton, VA

Every Sunday evening through August 9th, hundreds will gather at Buckroe Park for Grooving by the Bay. Some will tap to the beat of a band and others will dance till the sun goes down or their feet ache. Whichever comes first!

Years ago ashtrays were in every vehicle, restaurant, business, and many homes. Today, ash receptacles are hard to find and businesses require smokers to smoke only outside. Last year at Buckroe Park there was no place to dispose of cigarette butts and cigar tips safely! According to “Keep America Beautiful” research, 32% of litter is found in outdoor recreation areas. Of course, the beach and park are no place for cigarette butt filters that contain a concentation of harmful carcinogens and are undigestable.  They may be picked up by children or eaten by wildlife thinking it is food.  Don’t despair!

HA Buckroe Beach CLPPGOOD NEWS! SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT THIS YEAR! Thanks to a Keep America Beautiful  and their Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) grant along with $5,000 raised by through the annual Keep Hampton Roads Beautiful Golf Tournament, ash receptacles have now been placed for smokers convenience at both Buckroe Park and Buckroe’s Fishing Pier!

Be on the lookout for our new additions placed at the pavilion, entrance to playground, restroom area, Sand Dollar picnic shelter, and park and fishing piers. Volunteers will also be passing out free pocket ashtrays to smokers during the Grooving by the Bay concert series. So far, recipients of pocket ashtrays are delighted to become advocates for creating a cleaner community not only for children, but our wildlife and waterways too. 

CigButtLitter-Pic2Come on down and listen to the beat of “Grooving by the Bay” Sunday evenings from 6:00- 9:00 pm. Last concert is August 9th. You just may see me or one of our volunteers passing out pocket ashtrays!  Please introduce yourself!

This blog contributed by Cris Ausink of the Hampton Clean City Commission.

Posted in: Beautification, Cigarette Litter, Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!, Waterways

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Fighting Cigarette Litter in Newport News

Posted on July 16, 2015 by | Comments Off

CigButtLitter-Pic2Did you know that for the last 27 years, cigarette litter has been the number one item picked up during Clean the Bay Day and the International Coastal Cleanup? Sadly, most smokers believe that cigarette butts and cigar tips are biodegradable. They are not. The problem is not only that cigarette litter is unsightly. It can als0 cause fires in mulch material, clog storm drains and endanger marine animals. Studies have shown that eighteen percent of litter dropped on streets ends up in waterways.

The Newport News Resource Recovery Team and Community Maintenance/Beautification Team have been partnering with Keep America Beautiful for over four years to promote awareness about cigarette litter and engage community partners in cigarette litter prevention projects. This year, Newport News joined Hampton Roads District Planning Commission and the regional team to combine resources and share expertise.

You can look at nearly any intersection in Hampton Roads and see evidence of cigarette litter. It costs every city and county in the region a great deal of time, effort and money to clear storm drains that are clogged with litter. That litter can cause flooding and other problems within the community. In all of our projects, we have engaged property owners, residents businesses and our citizens in outreach and awareness and provided pocket ashtrays, permanent ash receptacles to be placed in strategic locations and auto-friendly cup holder ashtrays for smokers on-the-go. Our goal is to provide options to smokers so they will no longer use our streets and sidewalks to dispose of their cigarettes.

NN Go Green Auto CareThis year’s project in Newport News will be along the section of Warwick Boulevard that crosses Main Street. Go Green Auto Care, located at 10500 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News, is one distribution and outreach partner along with other area businesses and the good neighbors at First United Methodist Church and St Andrews Episcopal Church.

How can you help? You can make a difference by:

  • Carrying a portable ashtray when smoking outside. We have both pocket ashtrays and a limited number of car cup holder ashtrays available at our business partners and at our Recovery Operations Center located at 530 Atkinson Way in Newport News.
  • Use an ash receptacle to dispose of cigarette butts. These are normally located near transition points where people must stop smoking before they proceed.
  • Do not throw your cigarette butts out of car windows.

Together we can make a difference.

This blog submitted by Daniel Baxter, Business Recycling Coordinator for the City of Newport News.

Posted in: Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!

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Myth-Busting Cigarette Litter with Keep Norfolk Beautiful

Posted on July 9, 2015 by | Comments Off

Cigarette Litter Keep Norfolk Beautiful is pleased to be a part of this regional effort to educate the public on smoking product litter. We have known for a long time that cigarette butts are the number one littered item and the most costly to remove due to their small size. The hope of this educational campaign is to dispel the most egregious myths about this particular type of litter.

Myth 1- Filters are biodegradable. This means to break down by a living organism. Filters are plastic so they simply degrade and the plastic breaks into even smaller pieces. In water, these small pieces are mistaken for food by small creatures which in turn get eaten by bigger creatures including you and me!

Myth 2 – “My one cigarette butt is no big deal” – In Virginia 20% of the population smokes. At just one small site in downtown Norfolk volunteers counted 631 butts and cigar tips. Multiply that by all the stop lights and areas outside restaurants all over Hampton Roads and you get more than one.

Norfolk PreScan

During Keep Norfolk Beautiful day in April, these awesome volunteers did a scan of the targeted campaign area at Civic Plaza.

The good news is that smokers respond well to added receptacles- a key strategy for reducing this type of litter. Most don’t know that butts harm waterways and after learning the facts carry pocket or car ashtray.

During the summer Norfolk’s campaign will focus on Civic Plaza which includes City Hall, a Light Rail stop and the new court building. Fact sheets, new receptacles and both pocket and car ashtrays will be distributed free of charge. Picking this location will reach a diverse group of citizens and City leaders who can spread the word about keeping Norfolk beautiful. To learn more visit

This blog contributed by Lisa Renee Jennings, Public Service Coordinator for Keep Norfolk Beautiful.

Posted in: Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!

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James City County Determined to Reduce Roadside Litter

Posted on June 30, 2015 by | Comments Off

JCC CLPP ButtsJames City County is doing its part to minimize roadside litter by educating smokers that cigarette butts = litter.  The James City Clean County Commission chose to spearhead this campaign at the Commuter Parking Lot on Croaker Road just off I-64 Exit 231B where cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips line the parking lot.

Cigarette litter accumulates in specific areas, which indicates the spots where commuters congregate when waiting for the commuter vanpools.   In other areas of the parking lot it is obvious that smokers empty their ashtrays on the pavement next to their parked cars.

Volunteers cleared the site of cigarette litter in mid-April and then conducted a survey in mid-May.  In just one month over 300 cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips had accumulated on only 1/5 of the parking lot!  Thanks to a grant from Keep America Beautiful, 4 ash receptacles were installed at locations that would be most convenient to smokers.JCC CLPP Ashtray

On an early Thursday morning in June, volunteers from the James City Clean County Commission watched the sun come up while distributing litter bags with pocket ashtrays, cup holder ashtrays and information to commuters as they parked their cars and waited for the vanpool to arrive.

Because this is a transit site, people are in a rush while trying to commute from Point A to Point B, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t make better choices about what to do with their cigarette litter.  And so what we found is that smokers are happy to be educated about their options and are interested to learn more about how this outreach links to the James City County Board of Supervisors’ initiative to focus on county appearance.

JCC Outreach June2015The Commission is using this location to spearhead their work in other locations throughout the county such as county offices, public parks and construction sites.  James City volunteers care deeply about this issue and encourage other volunteers to help spread the word that cigarette butts = litter too!


This post contributed by Dawn Oleksy, Environmental Coordinator with James City County.

Posted in: Cigarette Litter, Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!

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Concert Goers Learn About Cigarette Litter Prevention in Portsmouth

Posted on June 26, 2015 by | Comments Off

Portsmouth1-June 2015The nTelos Pavilion was selected for the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant in the City of Portsmouth.  This is a beautiful amphitheater on the Portsmouth waterfront.  The site had some ashtrays, but definitely needed more. The first concert after the project launch was Rob Zombie on June 5th.  There were 633 cigarette butts counted at that concert.  We noted the paths that people walked to determine where the new ashtrays would go for the next concert.

On Tuesday, June 16th, with new ashtrays in place, signs put up and a table filled with personal and automobile ashtrays to give away, the record breaking heat didn’t deter us from our mission of reminding patrons enjoying the Huey Lewis and the News concert that Cigarette Butts = Litter.

Portsmouth2-June 2015Many approached the table and picked up a personal ashtray for a spouse, friend or a family member.  Most of the people that picked up an ashtray were seated in the lawn seat section.  That’s the grassy area where most of the cigarette butts were located during the first concert count.  We added one new smoking outpost to the lawn section for this concert and were happily surprised at how many people used it!

We were not judgmental when handing out the ashtrays, nor did we encourage people to quit smoking. We simply provided smokers with an alternative to tossing the butts on the ground.  WVEC Channel 13 News interviewed us and we were able to promote our mission even though the story was about the extreme heat. 

Portsmouth3-June2015The cigarette litter prevention program was very well received at the nTelos Pavilion. We counted only 257 cigarette butts on the ground after the launch of the cigarette litter prevention program.  A thunderstorm appeared at the end of the concert making for a quick exit for some of the patrons.  If the storm hadn’t occurred, there is the possibility that there may have been a few more cigarette butts on the ground, but I’m an optimist. I believe that folks were given the right tools and that allowed them to do the right thing:  Less Cigarette Butts on the ground = a cleaner nTelos Pavilion.

Join the conversation by posting on social media using #NoCigaretteLitterNow or learn more about the regional Cigarette Litter Prevent Program now.

This blog submitted by Donna Corbus, City of Portsmouth Recycling Manager and Executive Director of Keep Portsmouth Beautiful.

Posted in: Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!

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