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Preventing cigarette litter in Hamilton: new program asks smokers to dispose of their butts safely

HAMILTON, ON – This week, the City of Hamilton is launching a cigarette litter prevention program to remind smokers that cigarette butts should be disposed of safely in an ashtray or receptacle, and never on the ground.

Starting today, many of the garbage containers in Hamilton’s downtown core are being wrapped in a new design to encourage smokers to butt out in the best place.

This program aims to reduce cigarette litter by increasing cigarette litter receptacles in public spaces, cleaning up cigarette litter in public spaces, reminding Hamiltonians that cigarettes are litter too and all waste should be put in the right place.

Example of butt out container on top of garbage cans

Quick facts

  • Cigarette butts contain plastic that will not biodegrade or decompose.
  • Once the butts are thrown on the ground, they can leach toxins into the environment for over 10 years, threatening both salt and freshwater marine ecosystems.
  • Cigarette butts are one of the top littered items on roadways, open spaces and waterways, comprising 38-50% of all litter.

Butt Blitz event

The City is also partnering with A Greener Future to host the Butt Blitz, a single-day event that aims to remove as much cigarette butt litter as possible from the environment.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Time: 11 am to 2 pm
Location: Downtown BIA, Barton Village BIA, International Village BIA, Kenilworth Ave N, and the Breezeway Trail
More info:

The cigarette litter prevention program is supported by the City of Hamilton’s Keep Hamilton Clean and Green Committee. Each year, the Keep Hamilton Clean and Green Committee supports more than 20,000 volunteers across the city as they Team Up to Clean Up litter in their neighbourhood, park, trail or alleyway. This year, Team Up to Clean Up volunteers will also receive supplies to help them clean up cigarette litter.

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