No butts about it

Cigarette butt collection stations coming to Rockland parks this summer

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 3:00pm

ROCKLAND — The Rockland Parks and Recreation Committee plans to install cigarette butt collection containers in an effort to keep cigarette litter out of our parks and harbors. 

Did you know that cigarette filters are made of plastic? The chemicals from smoking stuck to those plastic fibers are water soluble, which means that discarded butts leach damaging chemicals into soil and water. In the ocean, those toxins affect fish, lobsters, and shellfish, according to the Committee, in a news release. Over years, the filters eventually grind down to microplastics but do not truly disappear. 

“We encourage smokers to take the extra moment to dispose of butts properly – it makes an ocean of difference!,” the Committee said. “Cigarette butts are the most numerous item found in community cleanups worldwide, and Rockland is no exception. Our local citizens and businesses devote lots of time and effort to picking up cigarette butts. Making it easier to dispose of butts safely in the first place will reduce litter, prevent water pollution, and help keep Rockland's land and waters healthy.”

The Parks Committee will be installing its first cigarette butt receptacles this summer, which will be located in the parking lots or entrances to some of Rockland's parks. These receptacles are being purchased using funds donated by local residents for this project. This initial rollout will be monitored and assessed for performance, ease of use, and optimal locations, and the Committee hopes to add more in the future based on the data gathered. 

Orders are being collected for discounted group pricing if individuals or businesses want to join this project and install a cigarette butt station on its property. Individuals or businesses are also invited to sponsor a butt station for one of the public parks.

Donations of any amount are appreciated, according to the Committee. The containers are easy to mount and clean, stainless steel, approximately 20" x 4" and cost under $50 each.

To make a donation or join the group purchase, contact the Parks Committee at “to do your part to beautify Rockland and keep our waters clean and healthy!”