Volunteers clean up 6,000+ cigarette butts along outer Balboa

Some of the cigarette butts picked up along Balboa during Saturday’s cleanup. Photo by Pawel Dlugosz

Last week we told you about a neighborhood cleanup of cigarette butts taking place along Balboa between 32nd and 38th Avenues.

The results are in! According to organizer Pawel Dlugosz, the group of volunteers picked up 6000+ cigarette butts and filled 8-10, 8-gallon size trash bags with other rubbish along the way.

Pawel reports that in addition to great volunteers, some businesses also stepped up to support their efforts.

“As we’re making our way down Balboa, picking up cigarette butts with salad tongs & collecting regular trash as well along the way, a driver hands one of the volunteers a business card. It’s for up to $100 worth of goodies at our local bakery Butter Love Bakeshop. I mean, I still can’t believe it!” Pawel told us.

The cigarette butt cleaning campaign was inspired by Surfrider’s Hold Onto Your Butt Campaign. When Surfrider’s organizer Shelly Ericksen heard about the results of the cleanup, she told Pawel “Your hood is a model for the rest to follow!”

Thanks to Pawel, the Balboa Village Merchants Association and all the volunteers who helped clean up Balboa. We appreciate you!

Sarah B.

Volunteers grab a snack at Butter Love Bakeshop after the cleanup. Photo by Pawel Dlugosz


  1. A small point of clarification (I was there, I’m the guy in the back with the black Nextdoor t-shirt and purple sweater).

    A neighbor was the one that opened a tab for us at Butter Love Bakeshop (though she prefers to stay anonymous) and while Pawel and a few other folks were treated to coffee by the Marla Bakery staff, we were sitting in Butter Love’s back patio enjoying the open tab that the anonymous neighbor graciously provided to us.

  2. Kudos to those individuals who picked up butts along Balboa. If only this could be motivation for every resident to pick up trash in front of their residence. The paper, empty food containers, bottles, etc… are not only unsightly, but gives the impression that there is no pride in our community. We do have pride, and can all do better and encourage our neighbors to do the same.

  3. Thanks so much to all of your for your efforts. It’s inspiring for everyone to pick up the trash on our streets.

  4. This is amazing! One of my biggest pet peeves is the cigarette smokers think its acceptable to throw their butts anywhere they please. Major problem in our city and the Supervisors need to do more to educate and prevent this litter. Would love to volunteer next time and expand the project!

  5. It is my understanding there is an additional local tax applied on cigarette sales within SF to finance Department of Public Works cleaning up cigarettes.

  6. @4thGenRichmond – and that justifies littering? Please……

    By no means am I suggesting the BoS creates another unenforceable law, which does seem to be a preferred practice of the Supes. They must get incentives for passing laws, regardless of enforcement……

  7. How is the way to also be in at another cigarette pickup? Or how does someone put together another one to go on?

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