After cleaning up 6,000 cigarette butts from outer Balboa in March, a group of seven volunteers returned this week to install ashcans on several poles along Balboa between 34th and 38th Avenues.
Butts are then collected from the ashcans by the RDNC and shipped to a company called TerraCycle in New Jersey, where they are recycled.
The cigarettes and packaging are separated by composition and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled industrial products, such as plastic pallets. The ash and tobacco are separated out and composted in a specialized process.
Four ashcans were installed in spots where the most butts were collected during the March cleanup along outer Balboa: outside La Promenade Cafe, in front of Hockey Haven, near the Balboa Theater, and near a strip of businesses that include Eat Americana, Kio Ramen, and Balboa Deli.
Each ashcan has signage in English, Chinese and Vietnamese, telling smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts in the cans. Volunteers plan to install two more ashcans along outer Balboa if these initial four are well utilized and prove to reduce cigarette butt litter.
“The installation was a success!” said volunteer Pawel who sent us photos from the installation event. “I must say, of all the things I’ve done [to clean up our neighborhood], this feels the most rewarding.”
Thanks to Surfrider, the RDNC, Pawel and all the volunteers who help to keep our neighborhood clean (and help the environment along the way!).