Auburn Family

"Don't Put Your Butt Here" Auburn's Anti-cigarette Litter Campaign

Downtown Auburn is implementing an anti-cigarette litter campaign to launch in November. The campaign is in conjunction with the Keep Auburn Beautiful initiatives, which is a sector of the national Keep America Beautiful non-profit. The goal of the campaign, titled “Don’t Put Your Butt Here”, has a mission to decrease the amount of cigarette butts found in the downtown area.

Before the campaign began, more than 500 butts were picked up over the course of a weekend by the city of Auburn Environmental Services. Four stand-alone ashtrays have been installed around downtown as well as four ashtrays on trash receptacle lids.

For the kickoff, the campaign will deliver anti-litter packets to each downtown business. These packets will include information about the campaign’s mission, t-shirts, posters, portable ashtrays and recycling bags.

As the downtown Auburn area around Toomer’s Corner has just be renovated, the Auburn Environmental Services feel this would be a great time to implement this campaign with the hopes to make the residents of and visitors to the downtown area aware and willing to keep Auburn beautiful. Assistant Director of Auburn Environmental Services Catrina Cook says the city is serious about the mission.

“Our mission is to make our community better,” Cook said.  “It’s to remove litter. It’s to make it a nice place to live and enjoy. Our downtown is a gateway to our lovely village. Cigarette litter is a problem and we want to make sure we do everything we can to remove it.”

The city of Auburn has operated as an outreach branch of the Keep America Beautiful campaign since 2006. Since its implementation, Auburn has focused its efforts on recycling campaigns to help the city become more sustainable. Between the years 2013-2014, a total of 26,622 tons of solid waste was disposed of, more than 200 houses were sprayed for mosquitoes, more than 3,000 bags of recycling was collected and 1,496 animals were taken to the Lee County Humane Society. However, this is the first time that Auburn is addressing the issue of cigarette litter in the downtown area.

Keep America Beautiful has already identified this as a major contribution to environmental waste. Cigarette litter is the most littered item across the globe.

Keep America Beautiful exists to bring environmental awareness to cities and towns across the nation and to take action in order to make these communities clean and beautiful. It  is a leading nonprofit working toward bringing people and communities together in an effort to transform public spaces into beautiful places through social awareness and environmental action while remaining economically sound.   

Graphic is a royalty free image from Wikipedia and the photo was taken and used with permission of Katie Harlin.

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